2016 has been an eventful year for all of us. Through sustained efforts of Greenpeace India volunteers, volunteerism has made major impact the last year. Whether it is the camp in Kedia, or getting a solar policy in Delhi, the hard work of hundreds of volunteers has been an important pillar of campaign victories.

With that in mind, we'd like to share highlights of our volunteer program and activities from 2016 in pictures:

Time and again, volunteers have stood for the health and environment by demanding a clean air action plan for air pollution:

January 2016: Volunteers from over 18 cities demanded their right to clean air. Pictures above is a creative “Freeze Mob” done by students from Chandigarh , during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Sh Narendra Modi and French President, Mr Francois Hollande.
February 2016: We celebrated Valentine’s Day in style, showing our love for our health and our lungs.

Picture Credits: Utkarsh Srivastava
Earth Day 2016: Everyone has an opportunity to volunteer, even kids! We know that children are impacted much more by air pollution than adults. On 3rd Dec 2016, as part of children's day celebration, Maarga organised a ward level children's meeting on Right to Clean Air in Bangalore.  188 children from different schools in Adugodi and Neelasandra wards actively participated in the meeting and made a resolution regarding children's right to clean air.    

Picture Credits: Sufian Farooqui
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2016: One of our country’s biggest marathons happened in spite of dire air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR and a terrible smog after Diwali. Volunteers reminded runners of the impact air pollution has on their quality of life and to ask them to demand clean air.


Picture credits: Nithil Dennis/Greenpeace India
India demands clean air: Volunteers from 7 different states in the Indo-Gangetic plains, conducted a photo-op to showcase the plight of air in their states. A recent Greenpeace India report assessed the air pollution levels in cities across the country.

When our Switch on the Sun campaign finally bore the fruits and Delhi launched its solar policy to move towards a renewable energy future!


The best Environment Day gift the Delhi government could give its people: a solar policy in Delhi! Greenpeace India has been running a renewable energy campaign since 2013 in the state to promote rooftop solar as a solution to the city’s energy crisis and help India’s capital in becoming a truly world class city. Pictured here, Greenpeace India activists along with Mr. Rajneesh Srivastava, Executive Officer at Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Management Center and Delhi Residents’ Welfare Association members visited the Indraprastha Power station (240 MW), one of the oldest power stations in Delhi. It was shut down in 2010 and is being replaced with a solar power plant. Delhi truly switches on the Sun!

We were there to remind the power industry to think beyond coal at the 6th Coal Summit Expo.


As the who's who of the coal and power ministry attended a conference themed ‘Indian Coal: Sustaining the Momentum’ in the Capital, Greenpeace India hosted a parallel press conference at the same venue, questioning the wisdom behind sustaining an obsolete polluting industry that plays such a large role in worsening global climate change. Instead, as Greenpeace India sought to remind Power Ministry officials, Renewable Energy holds the key to the future, with the potential to meet the energy needs of the country through clean and sustainable options.

Greenpeace India urged the ministry of power to focus on achieving the renewable energy targets and work towards fulfilling our commitment towards the Paris Agreement. The organisation also demanded that the ministry of environment should stop giving more clearances to coal mines and thermal power plants and identify inviolate forests and implement strict emission standards for existing power plants.

When volunteers, spearheaded by farming communities, protested against Genetically Modified Mustard from infiltrating Indian agriculture.

Picture credits: Vinit Gupta
On October 25, 2016, thousands of farmers, eminent researchers and experts, politicians, civil society organisations including Greenpeace India, and volunteers from across country got together to protest GM mustard. GMO’s are a false solution and undermine ecological and holistic methods of farming which are good for biodiversity, food, farmers and consumers. 

With GMO’s, pesticides, farmer suicides, climate change- a lot threatens Indian agriculture, farmers and soil biodiversity. However, the solution is simple- Ecological Farming. Volunteers from across the country campaigned for “Food for Life” to further ecological farming as a solution to the country’s prevailing agrarian crisis.

August 2016: Greenpeace India volunteers from across the country bore witness to the ecological farming revolution in Kedia, Bihar through a 10-day long camp. The volunteers celebrated alongside farmers in Kedia, as the Bihar Labour Resources Minister Vijay Prakash inaugurated the state’s first ever solar powered cold storage in Kedia, Jamui. Kedia’s farmers have become an example for farmers across India by their sustained efforts towards ecological farming. The installation of a crowd-funded, solar-powered, cold storage facility is a landmark achievement for this heroic community, and marked the beginning of a new chapter in the success of ‘The Kedia Model'.

The volunteer community at Greenpeace India is a global, inspired set of people who are the helm of environmental protection through their work on Greenpeace India campaigns. Here’s to a 2017 where volunteers continue to remain at the forefront of our work.

You can register here to start volunteering.

Sanchita Mahajan is a Public Engagement Campaigner with Greenpeace India