Anagha Rajesh is a student at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Goa, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics. A researcher, storyteller and community builder, Anagha has worked on multiple projects ranging from nutrition to nuclear tech, from mental health advocacy to entrepreneurship.
As Founder and CEO of youth-led mental health non-profit Yours Mindfully, Anagha aims to make the world a safer place to talk about mental health. Its e-magazine provides young people with a platform to speak up about mental health issues through articles, poems and art, and it amplifies the research of mental health experts. Through its work with psychologists, it offers free therapy sessions for young people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to counselling. It also organizes workshops to help educate young people on mental health conditions and partners with like-minded organizations to push for the inclusion of mental health in school curriculums. Yours Mindfully’s team spans India, UAE, Africa, and the UK and it was recently invited by the Malala Fund to collaborate on a mental health resource pack for female activists across the world. Over the last three years, the organization has directly impacted over 10,000 young people worldwide.
Anagha has worked on many other impactful projects and initiatives, ranging from improving sustainability to medical research. At high school she led the 7000 strong student community as President of the Student Council, working closely with fellow students to organize ‘Picturesque’, a flagship photography contest focused on highlighting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
The first woman from her community to get accepted into a top-tier research university in India, Anagha leads the university Literary and Debating Club, working with a team of nine core members to organize literary events such as writing sessions, train club members to participate in university debates, and create a supportive club culture where every member can grow at their own pace. As part of BITS Goa Women in Tech Club, she also mentors junior girls to help them navigate their role as women in STEM and chart their goals for growth.
She is currently working on a research project to identify biomarkers for endometriosis which has the potential to create non-invasive diagnostic methods and treatment options for endometriosis, which do not currently exist. In 2018, she also worked with a team of fellow students to design a device that uses nuclear technology to detect Alzheimer’s disease long before an individual begins to show clinical symptoms. She presented this project to a panel of nuclear and health experts at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, and at a TEDx conference.
The Governments of Dubai and Sharjah awarded her the prestigious Sheikh Hamdan Award for Distinguished Student and the Sharjah Excellence Award for her excellent academic, extracurricular, and leadership record. Furthermore, she is an alumnus of the 1000 Girls 100 Futures Mentorship Program of the New York Academy of Science and has been a speaker at the Youth Stem Summit 2020, Emirates Youth Platform 2021 and Empowerment Talks.
She dreams of a career at the intersection of STEM and public policy, working closely with corporations, governments, and inter-governmental organizations to shape their policies in a more inclusive and sustainable manner. Currently, she is training as a climate consultant with Force of Nature so that she can help businesses create sustainability strategies that have a large-scale impact.