The Unstoppable Rise of 20-Year-Old SDG Activist Vignesh Velappan


Vignesh Velappan, a 20-year-old SDG activist, is making waves with his inspiring journey of dedication and leadership. Born and raised in Oman, he embarked on a transformative educational journey, shifting to India for his studies during the 8th grade. Vignesh’s passion for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been a constant force throughout his life, driving him to make a positive impact on society.

Currently pursuing a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Sri Sairam Engineering College, Vignesh is not only excelling academically but also building a robust extracurricular portfolio. His adventurous spirit and commitment to leadership led him to take on various roles, from being a school pupil leader to leading his own team.

At the core of his impact is the Seyal Foundation, a youth-run organization founded by Vignesh. Over the past year and a half, the foundation has garnered six national titles for its outstanding service. In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Seyal Foundation has supported over 4000 families, sponsored the education of 15 students, and managed 35 orphanages for homeless and mentally affected individuals.

Vignesh also represents the youth as a state representative at the Global Youth Development Empowering Council (GYDEC), where he shares his experiences and enlightens fellow youth. Seyal Foundation has earned its reputation as the leading youth-run organization in India, with Vignesh’s exemplary accomplishments contributing to its success.

Beyond his philanthropic endeavors, Vignesh is a skilled orator who has participated in debates, TED talks, motivational sessions, and Model United Nations. He has delivered five TED talks, reaching and inspiring over 2000 youth.

Vignesh’s remarkable journey has been adorned with numerous awards and recognitions, including being a finalist in Glocal Teen Hero India, Humanitarian National Awardee for the Best Youth Run Organization in 2022, and Pride of India Awardee in 2023. His achievements extend to being recognized as the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Seva Samman Awardee, Inspiring Indian of the Year, and the recipient of the Tamil Nadu Startup Award for the Best Youth NGO in 2023, among others.

Apart from his activism, Vignesh is a talented music composer and lyricist, a verified artist on Spotify, with his compositions reaching audiences across various music platforms. Remarkably self-sufficient, he funds his college expenses through part-time work and manages mini-startup businesses to support his living and fuel the endeavors of Seyal Foundation.





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