An appetite for change

These life experiences formed a major reason behind starting her company in 2016.
Priya Prakash of HealthSetGo.
Priya Prakash of HealthSetGo.

“The thing is that young people, like you and I, are the ones who will inherit the world in the future, but we don’t have a seat at the table of decision-making in the present. Any major decision that will impact the planet and all of us is taken by people who, for lack of a better term, are far older than us. That needs to change,” asserts Priya Prakash, a Delhi-NCR healthcare entrepreneur, who is the Founder and CEO of HealthSetGo.

It is for this reason that the 30-year-old and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) will jointly launch Act4Food Act4Change campaign today on International Youth Day. This global campaign is led by youth leaders from over 25 countries, from Canada to Nicaragua, for better, more sustainable food systems by 2030, and Prakash has been selected as the Indian ambassador.

If one was looking for people to help change the world for the better, Prakash is an ideal candidate. She started by  first working on herself. “I was quite overweight in school, and had a few self-image problems. My teachers, friends, one knew how to holistically help me. So, I decided to do the research myself, about nutrition and physical and mental health, on how to go about getting fitter,” she recalls.

Because ignorance begets cruelty, Prakash faced a lot of bullying at school. “I was never picked for sports because of my health and weight. I thought I would never be able to do physical exercise. When I got to Crossfit, I saw there were no high-tech machines and many women working out with weights. I also got a trainer who gave me the encouragement I had not really received before, and well, things started from there,” shares Prakash.

These life experiences formed a major reason behind starting her company in 2016. “I realised that eating healthy and having a base knowledge about health and self-care, was not a part of many schools’ curricula and should ideally be taught to kids starting from a young age, so they can carry those habits with them into the future. That’s what we have been doing for the past five years,” she explains.

Today, HealthSetGo operates in over 77 Indian cities and is involved with over 250,000 students and parents via its flagship programme CARE. This initiative monitors the healthy growth of students at school and empowers parents with these insights so they can impart the right health education customised to the age of the child. On a personal front, Prakash was honoured in Forbes’ Under 30 Asia 2018 in Healthcare and Sciences and awarded the Unilever Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018, and she is the winner of Global Citizen Prize 2019. She is also Delhi State Level Weightlifter, Tedx Speaker, Crossfit L1 Trainer, and zealous health blogger.

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The New Indian Express