By Adarsh Bhat:
My academic background isn’t in the development sector. In fact, I’d originally landed a job with Google right out of college. But I decided instead to apply for a fellowship programme to work in a sector entirely unknown to me. In 2012-13, I became an India Fellow, and began working with Panchbuta Conservation Foundation in Gokarna, on the banks of the Agnashini river.
I turn 30 this year and looking back, I realise just how much I’ve gained from this step. The fellowship was a milestone in my life. Through it, I learned about previously unheard of concepts such as permaculture, green architecture and coastal rights and did a wholly fulfilling job creating a sustainable business model for Panchbuta.
Today, as a result of the hard work I put in with my colleagues, I observe with pride how Panchbuta has moved towards becoming a hub of activities for the environment, an attraction point for farming enthusiasts and architecture students alike, who learn about burning issues such as climate change and work to develop solutions to foreseeable environmental challenges.
On a personal front too, my work has been highly rewarding – it’s spanned across the Himalayan belt, all the way to the Western Ghats and in the eastern coast of India, gaining me a wealth of knowledge and experience, and a lot of self satisfaction.
The fond memories and long-lasting friendships I forged in my fellowship year are dear enough to me, that I relive them every year by training new fellows, sharing my key learnings. Here’s an account of my journey, memories and achievements with India Fellow:
Adarsh is an India Fellow from 2012 cohort, now working with Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation along the banks of the Agnashini river in Kumta, Gokarna.