Story of a 20-year-old, India’s only Global Changemaker, Garvita Gulhati


Garvita Gulhati, the only Indian Global Changemaker of 60 youngsters across the globe which is awarded by a youth program at Zurich, Switzerland in 2018. 

Garvita hails from Bengaluru when she was around 15 years, she came across an alarming piece of information in news snippets, about water shortage and nearly 14 million liters of water are wasted every day in restaurants. And thus she wants to bring some change in society and create awareness regarding the same and has co-founded an organization called ‘Why Waste?’ in the year 2015. 

Garvita came up with an interesting thought which is simple and makes a lot of sense; a little start of sorts to a bigger reason. 

She proposed a simple solution to solve the global water crisis and how every individual can be part of it and make a great difference. That’s when she started Glass half-full idea and started implementing it by taking it to restaurants. Later, they have started working with different industries, corporate offices, NGO’s, and helped them in optimizing water usage.

Garvita was a high-school student when she started ‘Why Waste?’ People were skeptical about where it was going and why she was wasting time on it. When she first visited the restaurant, the manager didn’t even look at her as she’s too young(15 years) and in the other restaurant she was asked who do you think you are, a 15-year-old trying to give advice?

“Well, society should accept that young people will also have innovative ideas, opinions and can bring a major change to the bigger problems with simple solutions,” says Garvita!

The Glass Half Full is a little exercise that is taken up by the restaurants & cafes, where waiters fill half the water in a customer’s glass. The act sends across the message of how significant a small glass of water is and how much of a major difference can the half-filled glass can make. According to a survey, each customer wastes around 200 ml on every visit to a restaurant leading to wastage of 14 million liters every day just because of the water being left behind in glasses in restaurants by them. Convincing people is one of the biggest battles as a changemaker.

With the support of the National Restaurant Association of India, Why Waste team has successfully led the ‘Glass Half Full’ campaign with a reach over 5  lakh restaurants across the country and many more across the globe. They have prevented over 4 million liters of water from being wasted and reached over 2 million people to date. The initiative completely focused on educating the society about the necessity to take immediate action for saving the world for the future.

Garvita has been recognized as an Ashoka Youth Venturer by Ashoka Innovators for the public, which is the world’s largest network of social innovators and entrepreneurs. She has also involved in different global projects with Facebook, Google, etc.,

“I never knew that Why Waste will reach this stage I am happy that I became a social entrepreneur, the challenges are never-ending, but the best part of this journey is that it teaches you so much every day – to be better at work, with people, to fail and then get right back up. I don’t want to limit myself, challenges come and go, and it’s all about learning to embrace them. Use your obstacles to learn more about yourself, and your failure as the fuel and I want to do as much as possible I can” says Garvita.