Bhawna Solanki is a Fellow at Youth Leaders for Clear Air Fellowship by Clean Air Fund in the collaboration with Pravah.
Here, Bhawna is sharing her story of being a part of this prestigious fellowship and designing and executing her unique Social Action Project to address Delhi’s acute air pollution problem.
Her efforts are actively bringing substantive changes in the lives of the residents of Delhi and empowering them to take meaningful action towards a cleaner, greener Delhi.
Go on and read how her story inspires you(th) to take action because the time is now!
How did you come to know about the fellowship? What inspired you to take it up?
I came to know about the fellowship through Pravah only. I am very passionate about mental health and the environment, which in turn inspired me to take this fellowship.
I have always loved spending time with nature, as it takes me away from all the hustle-bustle. I feel in our generation personal connection with nature is missing, due to which we are not taking actions on an individual level.
Pollution not only affects our physical health but our mental health as well. I remember during my childhood I used to wake up birds voice, which is missing now.
I used to go out, sit under a tree which was in front of our house and read books. Now when I go out, it’s hard for me to breathe because of pollution, which affects my physical and mental health.
What is the most pressing concern with respect to Air Pollution in Delhi?
The most pressing concern is that we are not taking air pollution seriously. A lot of people in Delhi die from air pollution. We can fight air pollution if each and every citizen of Delhi makes conscious efforts.
Air pollution is affecting our mental and physical health and our ignorance will not only affect us but the earth and all the species on the earth. This ignorance is here because our loved ones are not getting affected by it immediately and we don’t have correct knowledge about air pollution, what causes it, and how it affects us in long term.
What problems does your project solve? Briefly describe your efforts to address the issue.
Through my social action project, I’m going to create eco literate leaders who will inspire other people to take action for well being of our nature.
I would like people to deepen their lost connection with nature. I am spreading awareness about air pollution and how it affects our health. Also, what actions we can take to live a sustainable life.
I would also like to motivate young people to take action and contribute to cleaner air and aware as many people as possible.
Which SDG(s) is your project directly addressing?
My Project is addressing SDG 3 and SDG13.
What motivates you to work towards the long term sustainability of the environment?
My love for nature motivates me to work toward the long term sustainability of the environment. I love spending time outside and I love mountains.
I want our coming generation to live a healthy life, not a life filled with different health conditions. With that, I would like to create a healthy environment for humans and animals.
What impact have you affected or plan to achieve?
I have organised a workshop on air pollution and how it affects our health in adolescence. I would like to aware as many people as possible through creative means like Art, Music, Nukkad Natak and all.
To build personal connections, I am planning to organise nature walks and other things which will help people to feel connected with nature and hence take individual actions for the same.
What challenges did you face during the journey? How did you overcome them?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t take the session and there was a lag. To overcome that, I designed my session and increased my knowledge of the topic. I tried to find creative ways to pass knowledge to young people.
I tried to understand the behaviour of people when it comes to pollution through some talks. This helped me in designing my project well and I am hoping to execute it more efficiently.
What are the skills and values that you acquired during the fellowship?
Through my fellowship, I have gained a lot of skills. I learned a lot about social media, it helped me in building my interpersonal skills, and I got to know how teamwork is done and why it is necessary for the project.
I knew how I could use the resources which already exist and use them for my project. I learned how to design a session and it also helped me in public speaking.
How do you plan to sustain your project further?
I am planning to sustain my project by organising workshops and initiating talks with people from different backgrounds. I would like to understand how pollution affects people who come from different walks of life. How marginalised people are getting affected by the air pollution and how it affects their health.
I am planning to attend a conference as well which will help to increase my knowledge on the topics. I also plan to sustain my project by creating awareness offline and online as well.
How can people reading this contribute to your project or cause?
People reading this can try to come together, spread awareness in their community and take small actions which will contribute to making our air cleaner. Let’s use sustainable materials in our life which will help the earth in long term.
Let’s make ourselves and others aware of air pollution and its health effects. If every person on this earth makes small efforts, we can really bring change which will help us to live a healthier life.
We at Young Influx would like to take this opportunity to thank Bhawna for taking a leap of faith and sharing her impeccable story with us. We appreciate her efforts and are pleased to bring out her story to a climate-conscious audience.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore our platform. Give yourself a chance to be illuminated by a varied range of stories of other young people. Read more such stories here!