My name is Zebaish Ansari. I am a student and social activist from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, pursuing graduation from the University of Allahabad. I am a volunteer for the Government of India’s National Service Scheme and have received an award of excellence from the University of Allahabad for my achievements in social causes.
I was also awarded second rank at the Swachh Bharat Summer Internship 2018 programme by the government for spreading awareness on cleanliness in government schools and communities in Prayagraj district. Recently, the chairman of the city of my residence, Machhalishahar, granted me an appreciation letter for the work I did to help the society during the Covid-19 lockdown.
I come from a background where I was taught that moral values are the most important aspect of life. My father, a social worker himself, always inspired me to do good to society and people. People in my locality know me by the good works my father had done in his life. It gives me immense pleasure when I’m able to put a smile on anyone’s face. I want to do all the good things my father would have done in his life for the betterment of society. As he departed the world, I shall complete his mission, following his teachings.
Personally, I am a minimalist. I have always encouraged people to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle. I have been vocal about the dangers of climate change but I never was able to take it to the community or national level. On August 20, 2020, I got the opportunity to attend a climate action workshop by UNICEF. This workshop was full of passionate and enthusiastic people from all over the India who had achieved great milestones in creating awareness on climate change. They shared their stories and experiences which helped and motivated me to work forward on a campaign named ‘Learn Climate’ an initiative to create climate change awareness that was launched on September 18, 2020.
In the beginning, I was not sure how things would go, but I was convinced that if I am able spread awareness aware at least 10 people, I would consider my initiative a success. Since then, more than 25 days have been passed and I have received 100+ pledge takers and 140+ campaign memberships of people who are ready to teach thousands of children about the climate change crisis and eco-friendly lifestyles required to curb this problem.
From the workshop, I was very much helped by the lessons given by Digital media expert Ms Isha Chitnis. She had a bunch of extremely helpful tips that equipped me with enough tools and ultimately, enhanced my ability. This workshop has been a lifetime experience.
My friends, family and peers supported me in my work on this campaign. They also took a pledge to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle and spread awareness to others about the climate change crisis. I am still at the learning stage and my reach is limited only to digital media due to the pandemic. In the future, my aim would be to create awareness among school-going children about climate change. Another aim is to establish this campaign on a national level. The short term goal of Learn Climate is to reach at least one lakh children by the end of the year 2020. There’s no Planet B. Climate change is real.
In the next five years, I want to see people living eco-friendly lifestyles and reducing their carbon footprint. I want to see our country make environmental studies mandatory. I want to see India filled with the green in the Tiranga. I want to see more trees and less pollution. I want to see more sustainable development and a greater focus on environmental values.