26 November 2014


First of all, I sincerely would like to dedicate this to my parents and family who have been a constant source of my energy and motivation.

My involvement with Greenpeace was not an accident but purely purposeful. Initially, through an online search, I got some numbers and mail IDs of Greenpeace Kolkata and Delhi. I kept on mailing and dialed the number on and off but there was no reply. Suddenly one day, a lady took the call and I spoke to her, about my intentions to be in Greenpeace as a volunteer. I asked her about the current activities in India and if there were any at Bhubaneswar. On that, she gave me a very unclear reply. Then, I asked her about the worldwide campaign of Save the Arctic. I was struck dumb and I lost interest when she said she didn’t know about it and would let me know about it later. I called her again after 15 days. She said she had left Greenpeace! My journey should have come to an end then, but I intensified my search in Google and Facebook and found Mr. Suraj Jagdeshwar, who introduced me to Mr. Jagan Vengapalli Rao. Until then I had no knowledge about the whereabouts of Greenpeace in India and its activities.

What I wanted

I wanted to be a completely dedicated volunteer to help restore the damage done to Earth. I would have remained insensitive to the environment my whole life, if the Bhopal Gas Tragedy hadn’t happened. The biggest ever industrial disaster on earth and the effect on the environment are still visible even after 30 yrs. I was a student during that time and found Greenpeace International volunteers protesting at Union Carbide Industries in Bhopal and demanding for people’s rights and compensation for damage. That really changed my life.

What I have done so far

The biggest ever job I did was Resource Mobilization and Mapping at Mahan. That was truly a thrilling experience for me to be with the villagers at Mahan forest for days together and understanding their plight. The loss of forest has a devastating consequence on their environmental and socio-economic life, which was not unknown to everyone. But raising voice against industrial giants, corrupt politicians and influential agents was life threatening. It was the biggest ever challenge for Greenpeace to win over the hearts of the poor villagers and tribal people to make them stand up and demand for the forest rights. I was a part of this process, visited Mahan twice, and feel proud to be a part of the Save Mahan campaign. Save the Arctic, Free the Arctic 30, Clean Chai, Eco Diwali, and No Horn Please are the numerous campaigns and actions experienced by me in different cities all over.

What Next

I run one small advertising agency and limit my operation within Orissa. In my official visits, I come across many problems in Industrial area, such as deforestation, industrial pollution, soil erosion, industrial waste contamination, untimely rain, tsunami, cyclone Phailin, and many natural disasters. If actions are not taken urgently, we might see more disasters

I am a proud Greenpeace volunteer who has also made everyone around me proud. In my own capacity, whatever action I have taken so far is too small. I want my team to be bigger and have more volunteers for such work in the future. Honestly, what I have done as yet for the environment and Greenpeace is too small and wish I could do much more and bigger things.


Debu Nayak is a volunteer with Greenpeace in Bhubaneswar.

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