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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

These roadies explore the country in solar cars for a cause

More than a fortnight ago,a group of 20 young men and women from different parts of the world,embarked upon an unusual journey in three solar plug-in electric Reva cars and an alternatively fueled truck.

Written by Nitya Kaushik | Mumbai |
January 21, 2009 1:16:50 am

More than a fortnight ago,a group of 20 young men and women from different parts of the world,embarked upon an unusual journey in three solar plug-in electric Reva cars and an alternatively fueled truck. Their aim: to travel across the country,stopping at unknown villages as well as bustling metropolis,learning,profiling and documenting local eco-solutions at each stopover.

Started their journey on January 2,the group— Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN)— reached Mumbai on January 17 after cruising through Chennai,Bangalore,Hyderabad and Pune. On Tuesday,they spent time at the Maharashtra Nature Park in Mahim,planting trees,discussing water and soil conservation,learning about paper recycling and exploring the polluted Mithi river.

“We started the network,which is recently registered as an all India charity trust,with an aim to document feasible eco-solutions. We also want to educate and empower the youths to combat global climate change. However,throughout our journey,we discovered brilliant solutions both in backward villages and metros,” said Dhruv Sanghvi,an environment lawyer and Mumbai coordinator of the network.

The participants said that they were shocked to see how real the climate change issue was and how it affected the farmers adversely. “In one of the villages on the outskirts of Andhra Pradesh,many farmers told us that their crops failed due to weather inconsistency. They are very poor and the plight they face is really terrible,” said Deepa Gupta,executive director of the IYCN.

Hyderabad-based Abhishek Bhardwaj noticed how a group of farmers near Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh had managed to adapt to sustainable agriculture,with concepts like crop rotation where a mixture of crops with short-term yield are cultivated in rotation to fight the faltering climate.

“They have developed their own techniques of organic farming,manure and watershed management,drip irrigation and even devised a way to transform gobar gas into cooking gas,” he said. The IYCN has now documented in detail several such eco-friendly attempts by people and governments. “We want to share these ideas with different states,thereby opening up their minds towards a sustainable living,” said Bhardwaj. In cities,youngsters look at green building,which is a great concept for an eco-friendly start.

“To construct a green building,a builder need not start from the scratch. We can turn every building into a green one by tweaking certain features,for instance,by promoting rain-water harvesting,” said Sanghvi. The participants voiced that every business can go green and reap profits.

At MNP,Kabir Arora,a participant from Punjab,marvelled at how a dumping ground was converted into a thick forest right in the heart of a polluted suburb. During their visits in different cities,the network interacted with college,schools,corporate houses,public parks and NGOs to share feasible solutions and encourage sustainability and economic development.

After a brief visit to the Godrej Mangrove Park on Tuesday evening,the team will leave Mumbai and travel to Goa. The team plans to cover a total of 3500 km and visit 15 major cities before it ends the journey in New Delhi on February 4.

Their cars are said to have powered by lithium ion batteries and bear solar power panels to harness the solar energy to heighten the power.

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