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Meet the 18 young eco-warriors from India chosen for UN's climate campaign

Meet the 18 young eco-warriors from India chosen for UN's climate campaign

Meet the 18 young eco-warriors from India chosen for UN's climate campaign
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 8, 2021 6:30:32 PM IST (Published)

The United Nations has selected these Indian climate activists aged 18-33 for its 'We The Change' campaign. Instead of going 'blah blah blah,' they walk the talk. From plastic to water to waste to Olive Ridley turtles, they are showing the way.

The United Nations has selected 18 young environment champions from India for its climate campaign called ‘We The Change.’ This group of environmentalists, aged 18-33 years, has been working tirelessly in diverse sectors to fight the impact of global warming. They have been spreading awareness about conserving rivers and water, saving Olive Ridley turtles and even making resource-efficient buildings.

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Here’s a look at them:
Garvita Gulhati:
 Garvita Gulhati, 22, started the 'Why Waste?' campaign to conserve water in restaurants when she realised that eateries around the world waste around 14 million litres of water every year. Gulhati encouraged customers to use only as much water as they needed with her #GlassHalfFull concept. Known as a 'Water Girl of India,' Gulhati has saved 10 million litres of water from being wasted in five lakh restaurants in six years.
Sneha Shahi: Sneha Shahi, 24, is a water conservationist who has campaigned against the use of plastic that chokes water bodies. Shahi cleared 700 kg of waste, including plastic, glass bottles, thermocol and construction debris from the Bhuki stream and its banks in Gujarat, bringing crocodiles back to the stream. Shahi has also worked on outreach programmes in multiple languages to raise awareness about water bodies to revive the ecosystem.
Kriti Tula: Kriti Tula, 33, is the creative director of fashion brand Doodlage that focuses on upcycled and repairs of wearable fabrics. The designer, who studied at the London School of Fashion, encourages the use of bamboo, eucalyptus and corn fabrics to encourage sustainable fibres. Tula is the recipient of the ‘Green Wardrobe Initiative’ by HUL and Grazia Young Fashion Award.
Akhilesh Anil Kumar: Akhilesh Anil Kumar, 21, worked on curbing erosion along Thiruvananthapuram coast in Kerala. He started the non-profit organisation Bring Back Green Foundation that works on issues related to climate change and promotes climate education. He was part of the team that proposed the Blue Economy Implementation in Kerala that is focused on prevention of marine oil spill, coastal community rejuvenation, and saving the marine ecology. He has produced a documentary, Theeram, on the livelihoods of the fishing community in Kerala.
Ganesh Kumar Subramanian: Ganesh Kumar Subramanian, 30, is the co-founder of Kabadiwalla Connect that provides decentralised waste management solutions through a network of waste-pickers and scrap shops. The Chennai-based organisation has set up smart bins that alert scrap shops when full.
Berjis Driver: Mumbai-based Berjis Driver, 27, is an architect and urban planner who has worked on the design policy of Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority. He was also involved in getting Kandla SEZ in Gujarat, the first green SEZ, a platinum rating from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
Heeta Lakhani: Mumbai-based Heeta Lakhani, 30 is a climate educator who has worked in schools to formulate a global youth statement for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Lakhani’s Green Warriors programme educates children in schools on climate change.
Sanju Soman: Sanju Soman, 29, created the first model wetland village in collaboration with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). He has also worked to conserve the Vembanad lake, a Ramsar site, and helped in promoting sustainable fishing and clam collection.
Aditya Mukarji: Delhi-based Aditya Mukarji, 18, campaigns against single-use plastic. He has helped prevent use of more than 26 million single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, stirrers and plastic cutlery in hotels and restaurants.
Hina Saifi: The 20-year-old Hina Saifi has raised awareness about the climate through public meetings, door-to-door visits, surveys, pamphlet distribution and activities like ‘March for Clean Air’ in Meerut. Her ‘Suraj Se Samriddhi’ campaign raises awareness about the benefits of solar power.
Varsha Raikwar:  Varsha Raikwar, 27, is a radio reporter at Radio Bundelkhand 90.4 FM who raises awareness about the climate through the community radio. Her programmes are broadcast in over 200 villages in four districts of Bundelkhand. She talks about cleanliness, health, girl marriage, sustainable agriculture practices and voting rights.
Soumya Ranjan Biswal: Soumya Ranjan Biswal, 24, works for wildlife conservation with a special focus on saving Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha. He has worked with the local community to stop trawling during the turtles’ nesting season. Biswal has organised more than 200 beach cleaning activities to protect biodiversity in Astaranga village in Puri district.
Sarath K.R.: Sarath, 27, is a folk art enthusiast who has raised awareness about climate action through a community-led initiative Vayali Folklore Group. He has campaigned for rejuvenation of river Bharathapuzha in Kerala.
Neha Shivaji Naikwade: Neha Shivaji Naikwade, 27, is an engineer and co-founder of the youth cell Parvaah that works on zero-waste initiatives. Neha helps startups tackle climate change with data technologies through her Climate Data Program.
Siddhartha Sharma: This 27-year-old from Assam works on hydrology of the river Brahmaputra. He founded the Global Shapers Guwahati Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. He has helped in relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected individuals in Morigaon, Barpeta and Kamrup districts of Assam.
Medha Priya: Jaipur-based architect Medha Priya, 26, has built resource-efficient buildings that have a net-zero impact on the environment. She was part of green projects in Dhaka and the 200-acre college campus of IIM Visakhapatnam.
Archana Soreng: Archana Soreng, 26, hails from the Khadia Tribal Community of Odisha. She engages young people from tribal communities and forest dwellers in conversations about the climate emergency. She is also part of the initiative called ‘Adivasi Drishyam,’ that curates videos on indigenous medicines and songs.
Nidhi Pant: Nidhi Pant, 27, is a chemical engineer, farmer and entrepreneur. She founded S4S (Science for Society) Technologies in Mumbai that helps people from the low-income, climate-threatened communities to sell produce dismissed as spoilt. The company has energy-efficient machines to dehydrate ginger, turmeric and cassava.
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