Pushing for youth activism through sustainability issues, Neel Parmar and Prabhanshu Ojha are environmental enthusiasts. These students of Hansraj College, Delhi University, recently won the development debate conducted by the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC).
Participating in the all-India finals of IDFC Foundation’s Environment and Sustainability Campaign called In Our Hands, the duo from Hansraj College beat over two lakh participants in 15 cities across the country at the finals held in Mumbai last week.
Through this youth connect campaign, the students got a chance to bring their perspectives to decision makers and also increased their awareness of the deep and systemic challenges India is confronted with on ground, through competitions such as viral video, online essay competitions, blogging contests etc and various on - ground initiatives like intercollegiate quiz, debate and recycled art contests.
Seventeen teams fought through three rounds to qualify among the four for the final round. “The whole experience was great not only in terms of competition but also content. It left us enriched and inspired with valuable information about the environment and how youngsters can play a role in raising awareness in dealing with issues. For example, one of the teams from Vishakhapatnam shared how they got involved in helping people make the idols environment-friendly so as to control the water pollution and degradation without disturbing the local tradition. We hope to apply such learnings,” says Parmar.
Elaborating on their preparation, Ojha says, “We didn’t do anything special for the campaign as our university keeps us on our toes on environmental issues in the form of various discussions, debates and seminars which are conducted at various colleges. All we had to do was to represent all of it in the exact manner. We are happy to have done it successfully. Our institution has always been supportive and also our curriculum framework provides us enough space to participate in such events and hence keeps our back secure as we stand to speak.”
Every year, IDFC releases its India Infrastructure Report. These winners will get a chance to put forth their suggestions in front of bureaucrats, business and political leaders.