We won!

Greenpeace India digital team at the eNGO awards 2015, New Delhi

On Friday, 9th October 2015, Greenpeace India won a chairman’s special mention awards for leveraging Internet tools to support environmental protection.

We were beyond delighted! To get recognition for environmental protection using mobilisation and communication, we have only one word - wow! Here’s some snippets from the day by our digital team

Ruhie Kumar, Digital Campaigner

The entire day, we were interacting with people from various NGOs in India. Many of them are reinventing the digital space for mobilisation and empowerment. We saw grassroots NGOs like the Mohan Foundation and ‘The Kahani Project’ display their work. It was truly inspiring to be here. Meeting and connecting with people who work with limited resources and huge challenges. People walked up to us and said, ‘we pray for you everyday’’ One moment, which I will look back for years to come is, when Osama Manzar, the chairman for Digital Empowerment Foundation told us, ‘We’re honoured to honour you’. I admit, I got teary eyed for a split second. The last one and a half years has been tough on us, and being present at that stage was just the motivation we needed! And now back to doing what we should be doing, standing up for India’s environment.

Aswini Sivaraman, Digital Campaigner

As a team, we are proud of the way we leverage digital tools for the cause of the environment. But our day at the eNGO ceremony has exposed us to the brilliant work that the civil society community is doing with (and without) digital platforms. I think a great opportunity of this occasion was to look beyond the borders of our country and see what non-profits in other South Asian countries are achieving with digital resources. We are happy for all those who won or were nominated for the various categories. Their stories and fights inspire us.

As someone going in as a Greenpeace India representative, my best moment was when we went up on stage to collect our award for ‘Chairman’s Mention’ for most promising initiatives of 2015. People hooted.Yes, hooted! And someone shouted ‘Go Greenpeace!’ I froze for a second in happiness. My team and I have faced plenty of hatred in the last few months every time we log on to our digital channels. What kept me going was the greater amount of appreciation and support I saw on those same channels. And now we were getting that from the NGO community as well. Couple of people, including Osama Manzar, came up to us and praised our email advocacy. “We write those emails!”, I squeaked with a grin, pointing to me and my team.

This fight we are fighting is not just about us. It’s about anyone who wants good for our country and for our environment. An award like this is a moment to tell us we are doing something good, something right.

Navdha Malhotra, Digital Campaigner

Initiatives like eNGO awards are critical to highlight all the great work being done by the civil society. The Digital Empowerment Foundation gave such a platform to grassroots NGOs in India to display their work. As part of Greenpeace India, it was amazing to see the work done in the sphere of environment protection and sustainability. I presented Greenpeace India’s internet tools to a group of people, the response was heartening and I got to witness innovative work done by other organisations.

It was a memorable day for Greenpeace India!

Shivanandan Lakshmanan, Digital Technology Manager

"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today," said August Spies. The day came - it was the eNgo Challenge Awards function on Oct 9th 2015. And Greenpeace India's name was announced to receive the award of Chairman's Mention for the best use of website and internet tools. We wouldn't have existed to receive the award unless the Indian supporters stood with us till now. The cheers and applause from the crowd jolted us. This is a pure recognition of the people's movement which would help to bridge the digital divide.

Vivek Goyal, Radio Sangharsh Campaigner

'Finalist, Finalist, Finalist' - the only word that was echoing in my ears last three days and the finally the day was here! So I woke up in the morning and started humming the song “Aankhon mai hum sapne liye, Ghar se hum chal to diye, Jaane ye raahen ab le jaygi kahan.” I know I was too hopeful for the day but there was no reason not to be hopeful because we all worked hard and hard work must get some attention. We did not win in the main category but got Chairman's special mention award! For all the hard work we have put in to get the stories of people from the grassroot to the online audiences. Radio Sangharsh is a tool to connect people from villages and remote areas to the urban audience to narrate their story of struggle related to their environment. Greenpeace India has empowered people in the rural and urban areas by bridging the gap of connection. In the toughest times, my entire team and the organisation has churned out some commendable content and kept the movement alive.

Three cheers to digital empowerment!

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