Bangalorean is TIME 'leader of tomorrow'

Last Updated 20 September 2014, 20:30 IST

A 28-year-old architect from Bangalore, who worked for the welfare of the downtrodden, has been named “young leader of tomorrow” by “TIME” magazine for his pioneering work in designing affordable flood-proof houses for slum dwellers.

Alok Shetty is among the “leaders of tomorrow” who are “working hard to change their worlds today,” “TIME” said as it named six inspirational young persons in its first class of “next generation leaders”.

“TIME” said Shetty is “building hope in India” as an architect who is “finding simple solutions to complex problems.”

Shetty, working with the Bangalore-based nonprofit Parinaam Foundation, is designing homes for hundreds of slum dwellers whose makes­hift houses flooded during the heavy rains and became breeding grounds for diseases like malaria. He has been working in a Bangalore slum, which is next to one of the city’s sprawling technology parks and is home to some 2,000 people. 

Shetty, who studied Master’s in architecture at Columbia University, “came at the problem with an approach he brings to all of his projects — marrying smart design with a commitment to sustainability.”

He designed flood-proof houses, costing $300, out of discarded scaffolding, bamboo and wood. The houses are affordable and easy to set up as it takes only four hours to erect and dismantle them.
Shetty is seeking government subsidies to bring the price further down for those who cannot afford the units.

The list also includes Israeli social entrepreneur Adi Altschuler (27), China’s Zhao Bowen (22) who is working on improving medical testing and activist Ikram Ben Said (34) who founded “Aswat Nissa” in Tunisia that is dedicated to women’s rights and the first to involve Tunisian women politicians.

Online music video mogul Jamal Edwards (24) is building an online music video empire and giving other entrepreneurs a helping hand while British-Nigerian Ola Orekunrin (28) is the founder and managing director of Flying Doctors Nigeria, the first emergency air ambulance service in the country.

(Published 20 September 2014, 20:30 IST)

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