Tales of the Tribe- Sonakshi's Summer Project on Climate Action as an 11th Grader
Updated: May 26
I was always inclined towards 2 phenomenons - climate change and women empowerment. My inclination towards climate change started when I was in the 11th grade. At the time, while I was doing a few school projects, they required me to read a lot about air pollution and its adverse effects on our planet.
And when I did, the revelations shook me from head to toe. What made things even worse, was the fact that I live right beside a highway - so every morning I could see the smog increasing and the air quality decreasing. I knew I couldn’t just watch things get worse, I had to do something.
That's when I decided to research more. Although the conversation about climate change had started a while back, there were very few who actually took an action and made a difference.
But then I remember reading about this boy, Rohit Mehra, who lived in Delhi. He had built 150 vertical gardens. That was the first time I came across someone who was doing something so substantial, to curb air pollution.
"That sparked the fire of being a changemaker within me, I just needed a platform to propel the movement. And around that time, luckily, my counsellor introduced me to TribesforGOOD."
TribesforGOOD was doing some great work, and I could see how so many budding changemakers like me had actually been able to make a difference. I was very excited to be part of their Young Changemakers Programme - it was like a dream come true!
My mentors worked with me and introduced me to the world of Social Change, all the while training me for and equipping me with skills to take up my own project - which I couldn’t wait to take shape. I decided to do a research project and initially, I was confused between women empowerment and air pollution, so after a lot of discussions, field visits and research, I finalised on the cause of fighting against air pollution.
It is a cause close to my heart. My mentor - Mandeep was always there to watch my back. She was there to guide me every step of the way. For any doubts or roadblocks that I faced, Mandeep helped me sail through and reminded me of the larger picture - which was being a young changemaker, doing good work.
"Finally after weeks of working hard and making sure my project was up to the mark, I published it and sincerely hoped that all my hard work would be fruitful.
And you’ll never guess, I got published on Youth Ki Awaaz and received so much appreciation for the research I did!" Now, I am even planning to start a Social Media page which will center around the effects of air pollution and help make people aware of the current scenarios affecting our world.
It feels so great knowing that someone, somewhere out there would read about the impact we are making on the environment through my project - and get inspired to change things.
So that we can all live in a cleaner and greener world.