21-year-old Diana Awardee plans to create awareness on climate change through AI
As per the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 study, the world is confronting climate change, the biggest issue of the current time. India is ranking seventh as the most impacted country by climate change’s destructive effects in 2019.
To pass on the information regarding climate change to everyone, a 21-year-old has started an initiative.
Siddhant Sarang is a history undergraduate student at Satyawati College in Delhi. Since his days at school, he has been a close watcher of global climate-related events. He has created a podcast in Bhojpuri called ‘Dharti Maiya’.
Hailing from Bihar, this youngster hopes to connect to rural communities in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh via podcast about climate change. According to the 2011 census, Bhojpuri is the eighth predominant language in India and the third most spoken language in Nepal, with 51 million native speakers.
“I believe that an informed person is an empowered citizen. Information about climate and environmental changes is mostly available in English and, very few people understand it. India is a diverse country with a lot of languages and, very few people know English. So to widen the base of environmental awareness, I thought that information must be available in many languages. I took the first step and launched a podcast on climate change in Bhojpuri in February 2021,” Siddhant said, speaking to Life Beyond Numbers.
“It occurred to me that we could make it multilingual using AI(Artificial Technology). In addition, I would like to engage the rural community in the subject of climate change, thus an application will be quite useful. We are developing an app and a website that will telecast the information in all 22 languages included in the Indian Constitution’s 8th list,” he added.
This project also aims to support grassroots activists by sharing climate change information and successfully connecting with individuals.
Born in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur region, Siddhant’s enthusiasm prompted him to create a short documentary movie on climate change during his school days, which won him an award.
In 2019, Siddhant received Diana Award in honor of Princess Diana for his documentary film and environmental initiatives. He was also awarded the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Scholarship, which enabled him to attend the One Young World Summit in London, UK. He was the first and only Indian to be awarded this scholarship.
“I have been working on environmental issues since 2014. I accompanied my social worker father to the Saharsa district of Bihar, who was there for flood relief and rehabilitation works in the 2008 Bihar flood, one of the most disastrous floods in the history of Bihar that claimed thousands of lives. As a child, this was my first exposure to the complex outer world. I was in 7th standard, and after returning from the trip, I started learning about climate change. I later founded a youth-led organization Youth Frontliners with my classmates to work for environmental concerns in 2014 at the age of 14,” Siddhant said.
He further added, “During this discourse, I also started a monthly journal named ‘Nature Lifeline’ with the purpose to raise awareness and garner support dedicated to the environment by adding pocket money with my friends at a tender age. Till now, I have engaged in many initiatives with organizations like Fridays For Future Delhi, FFF Bihar, Satyagrah For EIA 2020, etc.“
The world indeed needs more youth like you. Keep up the excellent work, Siddhant.
This story was first published by Life Beyond Numbers.