Chapter 2 - The Realisation || What is Activism?

Updated: Jun 9


Since the day I got to know about activism, I started my research. For the next three years, I did a lot of research on Climate Change, Global Warming and how these things were going to affect the world. And it didn’t take a genius to understand that our Earth was in grave danger.


After I passed my 10th std board exams, it was finally time for me to choose a career path and the answer was crystal clear; I was going to study Engineering Science and had to clear the entrance exams. The next two years involved a lot studying and some more research. But in those years the global temperature went up exponentially, giving rise to a lot of tension among environmentalists.


Fortunately, I cleared my entrance exams with flying colours, and went on to study Chemical Engineering at IIT with Honours in Environmental Engineering. And it was there that I met people who thought like me, who were concerned about our Earth, and who were ready to do something about it.


Then began my true journey of activism. Over the next three years we organised rallies, street plays, demonstrated in front of municipal and government bodies, collaborated with students of other institutes and spread the message to our friends, family members, and relatives. We were fully supported by our university, and got to travel to various seminars, conferences and debates. We also developed our own website, where people could sign up, take various pledges, calculate their carbon footprints, and also give their valuable suggestions. This time was really great for us, because we felt we were contributing to something that was helping the world and everyone in it. We were also inspired by the likes of Greta Thunberg, who were spreading the message not only in their own country, but throughout the world. Everyday I woke up, I knew I had to do something new, something innovative, so that I could tell more and more people about the Earth’s problems. I felt as if I had discovered my true purpose in life- to raise my voice in order to save the world- in short, activism.


It was during the beginning of my fourth year at college, that my world turned upside down. One of the professors at the college had come to attend our street play. After the play he came to me and asked, “So, what is the problem you're trying to address?” “The rising threat of global warming and climate change, Sir” “Ok. So, what are you going to do about it?” “We have organised this street pl-” “No no no…”, he interrupted, “I’m not asking you how you’re telling people. I’m asking you how they’re going to save the world?” I tried to say something but no words came out; I had no answer. It was the first time in three years, that I couldn’t sleep at night. It was because I realised that what I had been doing wasn’t wrong, but it was not enough. Activism was probably more than I thought it was, I just had to find out.



Author ~ Manas Mehta

Editor ~ Diya Chakraborty


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