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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

My college inspired me to leave a positive footprint, says alumnus of Fergusson College, Kulkarni

Indrani Kulkarni talks about her journey where she is busy creating citizens who are eco-friendly.

pune Updated: Aug 31, 2018 16:33 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Indrani Kulkarni, environmentalist
Indrani Kulkarni, environmentalist(HT PHOTO)

Indrani Kulkarni has been coordinating a special project that involves bringing environmental education into mainstream academics, in schools.

An alumna of Fergusson college, Kulkarni talks about her journey where she is busy creating citizens who are eco-friendly.

Tell us about your educational background?

After finishing BSc degree in Zoology, I joined Fergusson College to pursue master’s in environmental science. The environment is one of the majorly neglected areas, where I always wanted to leave my mark. I was a studious student but would have fun on and off.

Tell us about the initial years after graduation

After graduation, I was still skirting for jobs. I wanted to do something which mattered. And, personally the environment and the lack of awareness about protecting it bothered me, and that eventually became my path. when I joined an NGO called Poornam Ecovision. Our core principles matched, and we soon designed this project about e-waste awareness in schools.

Elaborate on the project

The vision of the project is to tackle the problem of lack of awareness about waste and the environment, from the basic level. So, we reached out to schools, where we would be able to give consistent sessions on environment and e-waste management and ways to overcome the existing situation. These students are the future, and I believe targeting them to shape the future perspective, forms the crux of the project. Till now, in the last academic year, we have been able to cover more than 60 schools. The idea here is to make the subject more mainstream. The subject environmental science is not usually treated with the sense of seriousness that is given to other subjects. This is because education has become more about getting jobs than about gaining knowledge. That needs to change because knowing the basics of your surroundings is not an extra information, it is something we all need to know to live our lives rightly on this planet, without scaring it for the coming generations.

What role did your college play in shaping you up as a person?

Apart from academic guidance, my college exposed me to the possibility of using my knowledge to carve out a niche and leave a positive footprint here. My interest in waste management grew stronger after attending a certain focussed seminar on campus.

What are your future plans?

For now, I want to reach out to more schools and get them interested in environmental sciences. I want to help shape a new generations of ‘eco-citizens.’ Later, I want to pursue a PhD specialising in waste-water and drinking water management.

Your message to the youth?

The younger generation needs to wake up from the virtual world and see where we have come. Literally speaking, they need to be more rooted!

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 16:32 IST