This Is What I Took Away From YKA’s Workshop On Climate Change

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

Hello folks,

My name is Gaurab Saha and I am from Guwahati, Assam, and I am an electrical engineer (BE). I was previously a part of some events and awareness campaigns on climate change. I was curious to know more about this subject because, during my graduation, I continued my research on ‘air filters and the natural process of pollution.’ Then, I was working in a cement plant in Meghalaya and came across the issue of poor dust filters management. Later, I received a notification from Youth Ki Awaaz about a workshop on climate change.

I liked the platform and, according to me, it is suitable to spread and organise social awareness campaigns. And, I firmly believe that people’s actions matter a lot. Given the growing population of India, demands will grow twice its rate and there are limited resources available for us. All animals follow their natural habitat process, however, humans are increasingly exploiting the natural resources to fulfill their greed. Thus, I feel, we need to spread awareness and come up with action plans so that we can mitigate and slow down the impact of human activities on climate.

This change, however, is not an individual’s job. But, if an individual doesn’t start, every other person will think of the next person to lead the campaign. This inaction on the part of an individual and this passing of the buck has led us here.

I began to see those changes (read devastation) in Assam itself. The blooming pattern of flowers has changed. Floods are striking the state irregularly and sudden changes in weather have been affecting agricultural cycles.
I studied and conducted researched ‘air filters,’ but, unfortunately, I failed to publish the paper during my college days. So, I was waiting impatiently for any such opportunity, like YKA’s workshop, to work our a solution to mitigate climate change. I found out later that everyone has a different way of thinking up solutions, and each individual’s solution can restrict the greater impact. I feel change should be collective.
I responded to the email that YKA sent to me, and after the selection process (an interview with one of the YKA members), I received another mail asking for my confirmation for the invitation to a workshop in Delhi. It’s the first time that I got such an opportunity to attend a workshop outside Assam. I sent a confirmation email and soon after that booked my flight tickets. I came to Guwahati from my house two days before the journey, and I was, finally, all set to go for my first flight to the capital city of India.
The journey was quite amazing. It was not so tiring, but I felt exploited by the cab service on my way to PRIA Society where the workshop was being organised. Some YKA members helped me to reach the venue, and I liked the room and the room partner too. Although I came late and had no dinner and couldn’t meet any of the Action Network members that night, the next day, in the morning, I met everyone during breakfast.
Image provided by the author.
I found them fascinating, and everyone was quite serious and concerned about the issue and kept to their point of view and reference. I found that the dining hall was busier than the Conference Hall, where everyone was trying to discuss the same problem. Once I started reading palms at the table, some members joined my side to show their hands, although I just said that “the future is in my hands.” However, no one can change the future; but anyone can change their habits, which will eventually change the future.

The workshop by YKA was packed with innovative activities and serious discussions on arriving at an action plan to deal with climate change. It’s an unexpected and amazing experience for me as I have attended many workshops in the North East, but no workshop had such serious discussions like the one at the YKA workshop. I enjoyed every moment in the 2-day workshop event.

Events on the second day made me feel like I was in a ‘dreamland’, filled with visuals explained by amazing speakers. It was very knowledgeable and we discussed more on how to start a new campaign. After the workshop, everyone took off on their respective journeys, and the next day, I was headed to the next trip to Vrindavan with my family. That’s how my journey to New Delhi came to an end.

Although the journey ended, it gave me new hope and helped me chalk out the next steps in my career, thanks to the YKA team who showed me a new horizon to live with.
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