Divaa Uthkarsha learned the reality of Type 1 diabetes at 12 when her younger brother was diagnosed with it.

Despite having doctor parents and access to the best resources, they faced several challenges, including lifestyle changes and stigma.

In 2021, Divaa got a chance to do something for children with Type 1 diabetes who didn’t have access to resources through 1M1B — One Million for One Billion.

She started ‘Project Surya’ to support underprivileged children in Karnataka through the Future Leaders Program at 1M1B.

As per an ICMR report released in 2022, India has nearly 95,600 cases of Type 1 diabetes below 14 years of age, and 15,900 cases are diagnosed each year in this age group.

Through the project, Divaa wants to provide quality care along with mental health support for children living with the disease.

She conducts awareness programmes to educate adolescents about managing diabetes and has impacted over 15,000 people so far.

Through the project, the 15-year-old has raised over Rs 7 lakh which has been given to buy insulin, insulin pens, glucose monitors and testing strips for children.

She says they have a three-pronged action plan — awareness, advocacy and funding.

Divaa received the Diana Award 2023 — an accolade given out in memory of Princess Diana to a young person aged 9–25 years for their social action or humanitarian work.

Manav Subodh, founder and chief mentor of 1M1B, says that they wish to empower and support youngsters like Divaa to create social impact and change.

Divaa now hopes for a world where juvenile diabetics are free of suffering and access to insulin is easy.