Published: 02nd September 2019
Lavanya Gudelli from Hyderabad is bringing the change that she wished to see in the world. Here's how
Hyderabad-based Lavanya Gudelli also initiated a Changemaker's Club where youngsters meet and talk about burning issues once in three months
The August 15 which just passed us by was for many of us Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, but for Lavanya Gudelli, it marked the first anniversary of her organisation Be The Change, which works for the underprivileged community living in the slums. And before the 21-year-old started Be The Change, which currently has a core team of 16 and about 150 volunteers, she became the change that she wished to see in the world. And this she did by not just being the first girl in her family to continue her education, but she also fought against her own child marriage by giving her parents confidence that she indeed is capable of a lot more. "I fought my inferiority complex when I began working with a New-Delhi based NGO Youth Empowerment Foundation, but soon enough, I felt the need to do something for my own area. That's how Be The Change dawned on me," says Lavanya, who has been inclined towards social work right from her childhood.
Blood Connect is another one of their initiatives which is basically a wide network of blood donors
Lavanya dives right into the conversation and introduces us to their flagship programme Vanitha wherein they visit slums, talk to women about menstruation, menstrual hygiene, encourage them to opt for sanitary napkins and teach them the proper method of disposal. They carried out the same during their visit to Omkar Nagar slum near Miyapur. "This area is predominantly occupied by ragpickers and GHMC workers," says Lavanya. She even authored a handy pamphlet titled Nelasari sahajam, matladukundhama (Periods is natural, let's talk about it) to educate girls who study in government schools on topics like menstrual health and hygiene. "This is going to be released in seven government mandal schools in the Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district," she shares. Then, there are food drives, the celebration of Joy of Giving. The main motivation behind this initiative is to teach extracurricular activities in orphanages so that they have a platform to exhibit their talents.
Looking up: Lavanya Gudelli, Founder, Be The Change | (Pic: Be The Change)
"We want to be consistent and give back to society in the best possible way," says the youngster who has clearly, through her initiatives, branched out to touch a few sore areas that currently exist in society so much so that she even started another Instagram page called We Inspire You. Through this most recent outing, Lavanya tells stories of inspiring people, hoping that their motivation rubs off on those who need it. "We want to bring out such stories from across backgrounds," she says. For her stellar work, Lavanya, who is currently pursuing Social Entrepreneurship and NGO Management from the Centre for Social Initiative Management, has already won multiple awards like Pride of Hyderabad, Youth Icon of India 2019 and more. But what about her personal goals? "I want to be an IAS officer," she admits and shares that she has started preparing for it. "People don't have any trust in the government, I want to bring back that honesty," she says with a certain determination.
Lavanya is up to a whole lot more:
- She is undertaking a Changemaker Fellowship with Rubaroo in association with Pravah Delhi
- She has registered as an organ donor
- She recently donated most of her hair to Hair for Hope India to help cancer patients
- She has managed to expand operations to Andhra Pradesh and they recently donated a water filter to a school in Mundruvaripalem
- She will be the youngest delegate in the upcoming national conference on education to be held in Rajasthan in November
For more on them, click on instagram.com/btchyderabad