“Take risks, be consistent, use social media to create change and always be ready to step out of your comfort zone.”- Advice from Ms. Palakh Khanna for the nation’s youth.
Open discussions on menstruation, sanitary napkins, mental health, and therapies are still stigmatized in the 21st century. So, where would you go for help? These questions bothered an 18-year-old girl, Palakh Khanna. That’s why she established Break.The.Ice at a very young age to offer a secure environment where young people can discuss deep-rooted taboos. Over 40 people from around the world make up this organization, which already positively impacts over 16,000 people worldwide.
In this interview with Business Upside, Ms. Palakh Khanna, a Regional Officer for the Asia Pacific, describes her entrepreneur journey with Break.The.Ice. Moreover, she also talks about the growing concerns that are of the utmost significance for a country to advance and grow.
Business Upside [BU]: Why did you think of becoming a Social Entrepreneur?
Palak Khanna [PK]: I have always been passionate about creating change in society and working towards the existing issues in society. Being a social entrepreneur was one step towards achieving my vision of creating change!
[BU]: What was your mission at the outset?
[PK]: Since I was 7 years old, I have always said I want to create change! But I never really knew what I could create change in. Gradually, I defined my purpose more and more, which has now diversified to everything taboo!
[BU]: Being the youngest mentor, what do you teach to enlighten the youth?
[PK]: I have been a mentor for different initiatives, from being the youngest mentor and panelist for the Business Blasters program for the Govt. From the Delhi initiative to being the youngest mentor for the Rise Global Challenge, I have taught young children about business, entrepreneurship, communication, and leadership.
[BU]: What are some of the most important lessons that have influenced your work?
[PK]: I think, one of the biggest lessons I have learned, which then influenced all of my work, is that we need to take risks! Risk-taking is often an underrated skill and something that I used to run away from. Still, I gradually realized how taking risks enabled me to learn, gain insights, and often succeed in my work.
[BU]: Share your experience of being an active environmentalist?
[PK]: As an individual, I am very passionate about climate change and saving the environment and the planet. I am working towards climate change through various initiatives. I am a Regional Officer for the Asia Pacific. I work towards all SDGs, where SDG 13 is about Climate Change. I am also the Co-Organiser for the Delhi Smart Protein Project. This initiative focuses on sustainability and the environment through conscious food choices. I am also a Global Lead Ambassador for Climate Change.
[BU]: What do you look for in our nation’s youth as a Youth Change maker?
[PK]: I think it would be the ability to utilize social media to our advantage and to create change! The youth of today, I included use and consume everything on social media on a daily basis. I believe it’s alright as long as we contribute positively to the environment and society through that medium.
[BU]: What were the biggest roadblocks or challenges when you started your entrepreneurial journey, and how did you overcome them?
[PK]: I was an introvert when I started my entrepreneurship journey, and I believe that acted as a barrier to reaching out to individuals and my audience. But then I started working on that, and now I can efficiently and effectively communicate with thousands of individuals. I have transitioned into an ambivert.
[BU]: What has been the most satisfying moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
[PK]: It was when my organization Break.The.Ice became a UN SDSN Youth member organization! At that moment, I felt satisfied and motivated to continue enlightening individuals about taboo topics.
[BU]: If you had one piece of advice for children, what would it be?
[PK]: Take risks, be consistent, use social media to create change and always be ready to step out of your comfort zone.
[BU]: What is the next goal you wish to accomplish?
[PK]: At present, I am looking to expand Break.The.Ice to different countries and amplify our impact across the world.
[BU]: How would you define success?
[PK]: Success to me is when I sleep with a smile on my face!