This Young Entrepreneur is Battling for a 'Clean India'

Diya has been extremely lucky in initiating her own project, backed by her parents.

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Creating her own space in the professional segment, 18-year-old Diya Burman, daughter of Amit Burman, Vice Chairman Dabur India Ltd, started her own nonprofit venture at a very tender age. RogFree, a not-for-profit venture started by her, is aimed at creating a healthier and hygienic society, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a Swachh Bharat.

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The first seeds of this venture were sown while working on community development projects with Dabur's CSR arm SUNDESH, which provided Diya an opportunity to interact with people from rural India and understand their needs and aspirations in a better way. "The idea struck me when I was washing my hands in a hotel room. I noticed that the housekeeping staff in all hotels replaced all the used soap bars, even if they have been used just once," says Diya.

Every day, millions of these semi-used and unused soap bars are thrown away by various hotels across India. That's when the idea hit her and she decided to approach the hotels in her city and requested them to give all their used soaps to her. In the meanwhile, she carried out some ground work and learnt that the used soaps can be heated to a melting point, disinfected and then moulded to form a fresh soap bar. This would mean that all the bacteria from the used soaps would die and once heated and moulded, it would be as good as a brand new soap. That is how she started her project "RogFree".

She now distributes these new soaps to a number of people and is putting in the best of her efforts in trying to protect them from diseases and dirt, and helping them lead a clean life. Diya has been extremely lucky in initiating her own project, backed by her parents. She claims, "My parents were very supportive of the idea. I brainstormed this idea first with my father, right from how we approach the various hospitality chains to preparing the back-end for recycling the used soaps and then went ahead into naming this venture."

Currently, this venture is working in villages of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi/NCR. Diya and her team is now moving to cover hotel chains in Mumbai and other parts of India. At a later stage, she also plans to take RogFree to cover hospitality chains in Dubai and elsewhere. Having seen through an initiative and zeal in Diya to be an entrepreneur, we wish to see this young mind in her family business soon, becoming another branch of a helping aid to her father.

(This article was first published in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)