Two youths from Rajasthan will soon leave the heat of the desert for the snow-laden Antarctica. They will be sharing their experiences with 78 others from around the world and learn more about climate change and its impact.
Akanksha, a climate crusader who has worked with various corporate houses on their corporate social responsibility programmes, and Rohan Sharma, a mechanical engineer from the Pink City, are among the 12 who have been selected for the International Antarctic Expedition 2017 from India.
Organised by polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan — the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles — the expedition aims at engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders to return and create a change not just on a personal level but also on corporate and community level.
“The treaty to ban drilling and commercial mining in Antarctica was signed in 1991 and the year 2041 will mark its 50th anniversary. This expedition, being organised by Swan’s 2041 foundation, aims at spreading awareness among the youth about climate change and it’s adverse effects,” said 27-year-old Sharma.
Selected from among 3,000 applicants from India, both Aanksha and Rohan are needless to say ecstatic about this trip. “Travelling is my passion. I have worked with organisations like UNICEF and my background in CSR has helped me learn about the threats that climate change poses. I am a zero-waste traveller as I travel with eco-friendly equipment,” said 30-year-old Akanksha.
The selection process for the expedition includes several rounds of interviews and physical and mental screening of applicants, following which the final list is announced.
“I am excited to be a part of this expedition. The fact that we will get a firsthand experience about the adverse effects of climate change will help us generate awareness when we come back,” said Sharma.
After leaving India on February 24, the duo will travel to Buenos Aires in Argentina before leaving for Antarctica. The team is expected to return by March 15.
“Once I return, I plan to start an initiative for government school children living in hilly areas where they will learn about climate change so that we can groom and nurture new batches of climate crusaders,” said Akanksha.