Volunteers pose for a photo outside of the Greenpeace Warehouse in Bangalore city

The start of the New Year is a bustling month for folks of all spheres of life, but the Greenpeace Volunteers had an extra spring in their step; for they were putting together the very first event of the calendar year!

Themed around the nagging air pollution that plagues our many cities, the subject needed delicate packaging and marketing before the eventual broadcast on what turned out to be a Sunday to remember.

A weekend prior, half a dozen of the volunteers zeroed in on the familiar coordinates of the Greenpeace Warehouse in the east of town to hammer things down. Ali Abbas - an activist in his own right - shepherded the meet and provided nuggets of wisdom from his time and experiences in handling his share of events over the years. A quick bite and a round of bowling topped up the afternoon.


Passers by taking a picture with the portable photo booth

It was decided that the event would revolve around an awareness drive. With a sea of volunteers canvassing the MG Road area, they would have a quick word with all the passers-by to harness their thought on the all-encompassing smog, and jot down their names and email addresses to come up with a bulky list at the end of it all.


Guitarists showing off their skills in MG road, against the Clean Air Nation Banner of Greenpeace India

A couple of guitarists livened up the proceedings too, playing tunes that not only kept the volunteers in high spirits, but attracted some of the cityfolk to the cause. Their reactions only served to echo the nature of the problem plaguing us all - ranging from shock and awe to determination, with the culmination of a concerted effort to do something about the seemingly omnipresent smog. Many also asked if there were further activities planned under our banner, and offered to be a part of the Clean Air movement.


Volunteers come together for a picture with the Clean Air Nation Banner

All in all, plenty of learnings also abound for the noble volunteers as they forever look onwards and upwards to whatever awaits them next - meeting, event or a tete-a-tete with Mother Earth!

You can register here to start volunteering.

Varun Ravichandran is a volunteer with Greenpeace India