Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

Divaa Utkarsha: The teenager who promotes the advancement of underprivileged diabetic children 

A lot of things are happening around us every moment. Many beautiful things can make us happy, but some can hurt us. However, experiencing it firsthand can give you...

Editorial Board –November 2, 2023

A lot of things are happening around us every moment. Many beautiful things can make us happy, but some can hurt us. However, experiencing it firsthand can give you a sense of how serious a condition is. Let’s meet an extraordinary teenage girl who uses her life experiences to help underprivileged children.

Divaa Uthkarsha, a 15-year-old student from Bengaluru, is the founder and CEO of Project Surya, a prominent columnist, author, speaker and advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also a future leader under a UN-accredited NGO called the 1M1B Foundation. She is a student at the National Public School Rajajinagar, Bengaluru. 

An Incident That Altered Her Life

In 2020, the divaa’s life changed drastically when her younger brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was because of the invaluable care and knowledge of their doctor parents that they were able to overcome such a condition. It took some time for the whole family to adjust to the new situation. Her brother was finally able to manage himself within a few months.

As per the Young Diabetes Registry (YDR), 13,368 (65.6%) of 20,351 young diabetic patients in India were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. According to the 10th International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2021, the number of children with type 1 diabetes in India is 2,294,000 between 0-19 years.

Motivation For Her Endeavour

Due to her experience with the challenges of managing type 1 diabetes, Divaa had a clear grasp of the numerous resources that were required as well as the high costs associated with doing so. Children from low-income families lack access to the necessary tools, information, and facilities for quality medical care. It caused her to reflect on the plight of underprivileged children who lack access to the required resources, knowledge, and medical facilities.

Project Surya

Divaa started her path towards conceptualising Project Surya after enrolling in the One Million for One Billion Future Leaders programme, which seeks to develop one million young leaders who would influence one billion people. Through Project Surya, she tries to enhance the quality of life for disadvantaged children with Type 1 diabetes in Karnataka. Project Surya, a social effort in June 2021, aims to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes in kids and help them.

She conducted over 500 surveys with youth and ASHA employees while establishing her initiative, which involved 30 interviews with important stakeholders like doctors, dieticians, and children with Type 1 diabetes.

Assistance From Samatvam Science and Research for Human Welfare Trust

With the assistance of an endocrinologist, online sessions, awareness workshops, question-and-answer sessions, and interactive counselling sessions were held through Samatvam to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes clearly and scientifically. Divaa and her team provide these kids with affordable insulin through Samatavam.


Through fundraising activities and crowdfunding, Project Surya provides money to support diabetes management supplies like insulin, glucose strips, and syringes. The effort has so far collected 1.5 million. Uthkarsha organises educational events for kids in rural areas. Additionally, a midnight marathon for charity with 8,000 participants was conducted in Bengaluru.

According to Divaa, the program has reached more than 15,000 people and more than 500 insulin syringes have been given to poor diabetic children. Utkarsha has also filed petitions in an initiative to scrap the 5% GST levied on insulin to bring down drug prices.


Divaa Uthkarsha received the Diana Award 2023, Women Icon Award by the Rotary Mahalakshmi Central Club in Bengaluru, the 21 under 21 Changemaker Award by the 1M1B Foundation and UN SDG 2030 etc.

Future Plans

To raise money for Project Surya, Divaa plans to launch a programme named “adopt a child” in which donors agree cover a child’s insulin expenses for a predetermined amount of time, such as five to ten years or until the child is an adult. She also intends to keep up her fundraising efforts and acquire more corporate funding. 

Because of COVID-19 limitations, Project Surya held the majority of its meetings online.  Now, Utkarsha aims to offer additional free supplies and in-person counselling sessions to aid teenagers with diabetes.

Project Surya, which aims to have a big impact, has taken a systematic approach over the past two years, concentrating on one-on-one contacts and focusing on a smaller support network of 100 diabetes families. She organised rallies, educational workshops, and interactions with ASHA staff to increase public awareness of Type 1 diabetes. Diva has had both achievements and failures during the two years of Project Surya, but she has learned the importance of even the smallest step in one’s life. She manages to play basketball, participate in discussions, further her education, and cheerfully pursue her philanthropic endeavours.

Credits and References