the 'Glass Half Full' campaign was born.
Indian student Garvita Gulhati has been nominated for ‘Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2021’.
The 21-year-old student of PES University, Bengaluru, led an organisation to combat water wastage.
Garvita learnt that millions of litres of water are wasted each year in India due to unfinished glasses in restaurants.
The movement was intended to bring a paradigm shift in the mindsets and habits of people towards the conservation of water.
Garvita and her team ran campaigns, petitions and workshops.
Since its launch in 2015, it has reached 10 million people.
Garvita noticed that 14 million litres of water were going to waste each year because of diners leaving water in their glasses.
She then reached out to restaurant managers and urged them to fill just half the glasses with water, unless the diner asks for more.
As a result, the ‘Glass Half Full’ campaign was born.
It quickly garnered support from the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), an umbrella forum of around 100,000 restaurants.
The Indian student, who was inspired by her environmental studies teachers, tweeted:
“Youngest in the #ForbesUnder30 list of Social Entrepreneurs for Asia-Pacific 2021!
“Still can’t believe it! So grateful for everything this journey has taught me and to everyone who has supported us.
“Excited for more.”
Her campaign has since reached more than 500,000 restaurants.
She said: “Every month, we hear of certain companies and restaurants taking to the practice.
“And I think the biggest win for any idea or change is when people accept it to be their practice of change.”
As well as the Forbes honour, Garvita has also received the prestigious Diana Award.
She is also the first Indian recipient of the Shawn Mendes Foundation’s (SMF) Wonder Grant.
According to the Foundation, Wonder Grants are given to young changemakers who are using their voice, vision, or abilities to change the world for the better.
Since her first initiative, Garvita has co-founded the charity Why Waste?
In an attempt to spread awareness on water conservation, Garvita launched an app that allows users to record their water footprint for the day, sign up for various challenges with a Snapchat-like feature to maintain a streak, and compare with other users on the platform.
She explained: “You can input your data, and the app handholds you through the journey of saving water.
“You get to compare your consumption and the average with others.
“Every time you save water, the app also suggests where that water can possibly be used.”