A passionate environmentalist and social campaigner, proving to be role model for thousands.

 CV: At just 16, Dubai-born Simran Vedvyas is already proving to be role model for thousands of young people here in the UAE as a passionate environmentalist and social campaigner. As founder of the SynergY youth group, which works to promote sustainability, she engages with students across the UAE and India on topics like the environment, education and healthcare.

Simran, who has led over 50 successful youth engagement campaigns – including one which saw 3,000 trees planted at landfill sites across the UAE – has been recognised at home and abroad for her academic and humanitarian achievements.

Where it began: “My interest in the environment began when I was seven. My grandfather had a farm back home in India… standing outdoors always gave me a sense of calm and tranquillity. I started recycling paper, cans and other materials at home.”

Proud moment: “When I was 12, I campaigned and collected more than 3,000 pairs of shoes that were distributed in Kenya and Uganda. After I was chosen to carry the Olympic Flame at the London Olympics in 2012, I moved forward with my social and environmental work and never looked back.”

What winning means to me: “It feels great to be appreciated for the work you do. I have been recognised through awards internationally, but when you are appreciated at home – that’s the best feeling in the world.”

Photographed by: Farooq Salik  | Assisted by: Kristina Nabieva