09 December 2013

Volunteering for Greenpeace


Most of us human beings are not fully conscious about how our everyday actions, right from the time we wake up till the time we go back to bed, affect our immediate environment and the planet on the long run. Like spoiled children we constantly meddle with the fine workings of the planet and throw into chaos for instant gratification. On the contrary, the lesser-mortals such as uninteresting microscopic marine organisms, creepy eight legged spiders, and ferocious elephants, keep our planet running and hospitable by absorbing excess carbon, supplying oxygen, aerating and recycling soil, and regulating temperature (to name just a few).

As intelligent and civilised beings we have the responsibility to take care of and respect the mother earth. To Her, we owe the air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the comfort and warmth of our home. Without Her we do not exist.

I am an activist because I want to make people more conscious and aware of how our actions impact our planet. And I believe that by injecting conscious thought into our actions there is so much we can change about the way we do things in our daily lives. I cannot change the world all by myself, to think so would be extremely arrogant. I work with like minded people and organisations, and together we are trying to reach and influence the larger population. I have been associated with Greenpeace for over two years, and have been part of public engagement campaigns, direct actions, and educational programmes, focusing on sustainable agriculture and forest conservation. Working with Greenpeace provides me with ample scope for engagement with people. In other words I get to engage and influence a wide spectrum of people, right from the general public to decision makers in government ministries. For example, as a Green Warrior, I had the opportunity to work with and engage primary and middle school children in environmental conservation projects. As a volunteer in public engagement campaigns, I, along with other volunteers, were able to reach out to pro-technology and pro-development people and change their perceptions on GMOs and coal fired power plants. As activists in a direct action against coal mining in sensitive ecosystems, we were influential in stalling the coal ministry from allocating reserved forests in central India for open cast mines.

What do I get out of it? My life feels more meaningful and purposeful, when I work with many like minded people towards positively influencing people's perceptions and their interactions with the environment. Working with Greenpeace is my answer or the perennial philosophical question – "why are we here?" Every time I work with Greenpeace is a good day to die – no negativity intended here, what I am trying is say is that I feel a deep sense of fulfilment that I can leave without any regrets.

To volunteer with Greenpeace, register at http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/Get-Involved/