EducationEmpowering Change: Vipin Upadhyay's Path from Child Rights Advocacy to Pioneering Waste...

Empowering Change: Vipin Upadhyay’s Path from Child Rights Advocacy to Pioneering Waste Management”

From Journalism to Social Change: A Fight Against Child Marriage in Rural India

Vipin Kumar Upadhyay, born on July 16, 1988, in Delhi, native to Aligarh, is the youngest child of Keshav Dev, a government employee, and Saroj Devi. He is a man of diverse experiences and unwavering commitment to social change. His journey, marked by a keen interest in social issues, has seen him transition from journalism to social work and finally to the world of ethical recycling.

Early Life and Education:

His early schooling took place in Vigheypur village, Aligarh district (now Hathras district), from 1st to 8th grade, completing in 1999. He later moved to Delhi for secondary education, completing his 10th grade in 2002 and 12th grade in 2005 after a year-long break due to an accident.

Vipin pursued higher education at Maharaja Agrasen College, Delhi University, earning a degree in Hindi Honors with a focus on journalism in 2008. He then completed a Post-Graduation Diploma in Television Production and Journalism from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 2009.

Following his diploma, Vipin honed his journalistic skills through internships at various news organizations like Sahara News Channel, Mahua News.

Early Career in Journalism and Social Work:

Vipin’s first salary came from working as a journalist for a tabloid newspaper called DLA, Dorilal Agarwal and Amar Ujala. He dedicated himself to active journalism, focusing on social issues like women’s rights and child-centric concerns.

In 2012, following his mother’s passing, Vipin moved to Bikaner, Rajasthan, to work with the Urmul Seemant, a leading organization working on child rights.

Vipin’s work in Rajasthan deeply impacted his life. He worked in remote villages, immersed in the realities of rural Rajasthan. This experience ignited a passion for working with children and addressing issues like child marriage and fostering child participation.

Beyond Child Rights: His work extended beyond traditional child rights programs. He actively engaged with the community, understanding the unique challenges faced by adolescent girls, who often lacked opportunities and faced societal pressures that limited their participation in public life. He plays a vital role in organizing meeting and training for Bal Mandal, Kishori Prerana Manch (KPM), Kishor Manch (KM)

Empowering Youth: Vipin realized the power of engaging youth through creative methods. He implemented initiatives like “Nukkad Natak” (street plays) and summer camps to empower children, especially girls, to express themselves and develop their hidden talents. These activities focused on art, crafts like Kashida (embroidery), singing, poetry, and acting, highlighting the skills and creativity present within the community.

Reaching State Level: The impact of these programs was remarkable. Children trained by Vipin showcased their talents at state-level performances, travelling to different districts and raising awareness about child marriage. The positive impact of these programs resonated strongly with the local community, earning Vipin the respect and recognition of the children he worked with.

During this period, Vipin also mastered the Marwari language, immersing himself in the local culture through interaction with the children and community members. This experience not only broadened his cultural understanding but also equipped him with valuable communication skills.

During these 3-4 years Vipin actively participated in child rights initiatives, focusing on stopping child marriage and fostering child participation. He developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by rural communities, particularly regarding adolescent girls’ limited participation in public life.

Master’s Degree: During this period, he also completed his master’s in social work through open learning between 2012-2014.

Shifting Gears: A Journey into the Waste Management Sector:

In 2015, Vipin returned to Delhi and joined Seed CSR, a social work organization based in Malviya Nagar. His work with the organization took him to Chandrapur, Maharashtra, where he managed a CSR project of DHFL focused on skill development. This project witnessed a successful impact, educating 12-13,000 students within a year.

In 2017, Vipin joined Karo Sambhav Private Limited, a waste management company pioneering Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in India. He was the first employee of this organization and worked there for 2.5 years.

In 2019, driven by a desire to expand his knowledge of the waste management sector, Vipin moved to Hyderabad to work for Rapidue, a company specializing in plastic waste management. This experience provided valuable insight into the operational challenges and recycling processes within the industry.

Back2Basics Recycle Private Limited: In September 2021, he founded Back2Basics Recycle Private Limited, with a focus on lithium battery recycling. The company has collected and supplied for recycling around 60-70 metric tons of lithium batteries over the past three years.

Key Achievements and Milestones:

EPR Implementation: Vipin has implemented EPR programs for more than 20 companies, including LG, Samsung, Godrej, IFB, Usha, and Rockwell and many more.

E-Waste Management: Over the past five years, has handled approximately 45,000 metric tons of e-waste, fulfilling EPR obligations for various producers.

EPC Expertise: Vipin has gained expertise in EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) for recycling plants. He has successfully installed 5 plants in Gujarat, Jharkhan, and North India.

Employment Generation: Through his business, Vipin has been able to provide employment to 12 individuals and it will reach around 60+ in the near future.

Challenges Faced:

The biggest challenge faced by Vipin has been the unreliable nature of some recyclers, particularly from unorganized sector and those from the Northern region, who prioritize short-term gains over ethical practices and contractual agreements.

Mentors and Influences:

A significant figure in Vipin’s life, Ravi Mishra, a social worker who passed away in 2020, served as a mentor and elder brother figure during his early career. Vipin’s current mentor, Anshul Ojha, continues to shape his life and provide guidance.

Personal Interests and Ambitions:

Hobbies: Vipin enjoys theater, acting, cooking, and long-distance motorcycle touring. He won the Best Actor award many times at the college level.

Dreams for the Future: His ambition is to establish a leading ethical recycling plant, focusing on 12-15 thousand metric tons of battery, e-waste, plastic, and Tyre waste, in all segments of recycling and contributing to a sustainable future.

Conclusion:

Vipin Kumar Upadhyay’s journey is a testament to his passion for social good and his dedication to building a more sustainable future. From journalism to social work, and ultimately to ethical recycling, he has consistently sought to create positive impact. His dedication to ethical business practices and commitment to responsible waste management make him a true innovator in the recycling industry, paving the way for a greener tomorrow.

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