Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Green NGO

It was the 12th of May, I had just finished my exams a day before, and here I was sitting nervously for my life’s first interview. The waiting room was a library, where books and reports of various issues were kept, after filling up the form; I went through a few books with eager thirst for knowledge. It wasn’t long before it was my turn. With a deep breadth, I walk in. I had no past experience, what I only had was knowledge and the confidence in my ability..

Fundraising is a tough job. It’s something that tests your skills to the fullest. It also helps you grow as an individual. I happen to work in an NGO. One that works for environment related issues particularly climate change. I was a part of a select group of 5 people, each with their own set of talents, skills and vision.  The first week of job was all about learning the trade. Realizing the purpose of me being here, realizing the purpose of why we exist. Knowing the campaigns, the causes that we work for. How we as individuals can be the catalyst to this change. Knowing our importance in things to come and most importantly to believe in what we do. It made me proud that I was a part of it. A member of one of the worlds largest NGO. An organization that had a lot of influence in bringing the change that was needed. An organization that is transparent, non violent and no matter what; it always stood by its ethics. An independent organization solely funded by individual supporters. An NGO by the people for the people.

When a group of like minded people sat sail for the island of Amchitka in 1971, little did they know that their revolution would give birth to a whole new beginning of environmental activism. Four decades later, and in 23 countries, Greenpeace has come along way. Established in India in 2001, Greenpeace strives to bring a paradigm shift in the Government towards renewable energy. Starting from the early campaigns regarding the water in the Ganges and the Bhopal gas tragedy and currently with a campaign named Junglistan, aimed at protecting forests being destroyed at the expense of dirty coal.

Greenpeace’s main goal is to ensure the ability of Earth to nurture life in all its biodiversity. The world is not made for human greed. It does so by promoting peace, Global disarmament by non violent ways.
What did impress me as an individual were certain ethics followed by the problem solving global campaigning organization that no matter what, every Greenpeace individual stuck by it. The core values of Non Violence, Bearing witness, Independence and Direct action.
Together with catalyzing an energy (r)evolution for climate change along with defending the oceans, protecting  ancient forests , supporting sustainable agriculture and working towards peace and disarmament, Greenpeace emphasis its role as a global watchdog towards governments and companies.
In India Greenpeace currently campaigns in the following core Issues-
1-      Coal and Water campaign (The drought in the Vidharba region)
2-      Coal and Forest campaign (Junglistan – Coal mining destroying forest land)
3-      Sustainable Agriculture (Promoting organic farming and saying NO to GMO’s and Chemicals)
4-      Nuclear energy (Against the Civil Nuclear Liability act)
5-      Cool IT (Keeping a tab on IT companies and their carbon footprint)

The money raised by us fundraisers is then utilized towards research, creative campaigning, mobilization, reaching out, lobbying with governments or cooperates. Hence trying to bring about the desired change.
Not everything in Greenpeace is perfect. Mistakes have been made, but what’s important is learning from them, and moving forward to on day realize our dream of seeing India totally powered by Decentralized renewable Energy. Thus being self Sustainable and living in harmony with nature.

Nine months later, leaving behind a thousand memories, my time had finally come to bid farewell. It was an emotional day for me, with the day ending with a farewell party in one of Bandra’s best Chinese restaurant. I had my good times as well as bad times. But the proud feeling of being a part of that change will always remain.

Its too late to be pessimist...

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