A social entrepreneur from India, Neha Upadhyaya, has been selected by Yale University as one of their 2019 ‘World Fellows.’ The Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program enables extraordinary individuals, from across the globe and from diverse disciplines, to increase their capacity to make the world a better place. Each year, the Program selects 16 World Fellows to spend four months together in residence at Yale University to grow intellectually, share knowledge, strengthen skills and expand networks.
“World Fellows are people of character, integrity, energy and talent. They are dynamic, creative, disruptive and innovative. They are selfless leaders who serve, inspire and motivate others. They have demonstrated impact, they are on the rise in their careers, and they are ambitious to grow to their full potential,” say a statement by Yale University.
Established in 2002, the Program now has a network of over 300 World Fellows contributing to their communities in 90 countries, connected to each other and to Yale.
Upadhyaya is a social entrepreneur based in New Delhi. In 2014, she founded GUNA Organics, which provides ethically-sourced organic food products grown by rural female Indian farmers.
GUNA’s vision is to empower these farmers through vertical integration of organic farming and solar technology. Previously her focus was working with children suffering from various health issues including diabetes, autism, and ADHD.
Curious about alternatives to western medicine, she trained at Daylesford Organic School, Wholefood Harmony, and Navdanya Bina Vidyapeeth.
She was the recipient of Future Leaders Connect (2018) and Social Impact India (2017) awarded by the British Council. She has won several prototype grants and awards, including Entrepreneur Excellence award by I.I.T. Delhi (2017), and was awarded a full scholarship to study sustainability and responsible leadership from the Government of Sweden in 2017. With a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, she envisions an inclusive, equitable, and healthy society where men and women support each other in every aspect of life and enjoy their right to realize their full potential.
This year marks the 18th cohort of World Fellows. Apart from Upadhyaya, a total of 21 Indians, including actress Nandita Das and economist and activist Chetna Sinha have been selected as Yale World Fellows since the program started in 2002, according to PTI.
Emma Sky, director of the Maurice R Greenberg World Fellows Program, said the courage, ingenuity and passion of the World Fellows will be an inspiration to all at Yale.