Vihaan Agarwal (17-year-old) and Nav Agarwal (14-year-old) are two Indian brothers from Delhi, the capital city of India. They are the winners of the International Children Peace Prize of 2021. They won because of their courage and commitment to reduce pollution in their home city. The KidsRights’s Expert Committee received a lot of applications: 169 from 39 countries.
Among all these applications, they selected Vihaan and Nav as winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize (ICPP). By winning the award, they have gained an international platform, which gives them the opportunity to spread their message to hundreds of millions of people around the world. The ICPP is the most important youth award worldwide. It is an initiative of the international children’s rights organisation KidsRights. You can learn more about this prestigious award by clicking here.
ONE STEP GREENERIn 2018, 2019 and 2020, Delhi was the most polluted capital in the world. This is problematic for Vihaan, who has asthma, and for all other children, who have the right to breathe clean air. When Vihaan was growing up, the poor air quality of the city was frequently making him sick. As a result, the two brothers were often not able to play outside. One day, the landfill in Delhi was damaged. This sad event made the brothers realise the link between waste and air pollution. In response, they created One Step Greener. This initiative started to separate the different kind of waste. It also organised waste pickup drives.In the beginning, One Step Greener was collecting rubbish form 15 homes. Now, One Step Greener is active all over the city. More than 1,000 households, schools, and offices have their waste collected. One Step Greener has recycled more than 173,630 kilograms of waste. Every day, the brothers spend 4-5 hours working on One Step Greener. They take care of the organisation and are working to share with children everywhere in India their sustainability message.
ZERO WASTE INDIAVihaan and Nav created educative materials. It is used in more than 1000 schools in Delhi. They also gave presentation about waste to more than 45,000 people. Now, One Step Greener now has 5 full-time employees and 11 young volunteers. All of them are working to achieve the goal of a ‘Zero Waste India’.One day before the National Children’s Day in India happened the International Children’s Peace Prize ceremony. The event happened in the Hague, in the Netherlands. Kailash Satyarthi, who is the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, presented the International Children’s Peace Prize.
After receiving the prize, Vihaan and Nav Agarwal said: “Air pollution is one of the most important issues of our time for children. It affects us directly, people in our community and young people across the world. What started from our home has turned into something much bigger and it shows what we can achieve when we take action. We would like to encourage all young people to start their own initiatives no matter how small they seem.”