Arun Krishnamurthy discusses the philosophy of a young mind and its relationship with its environment.

Today’s youth are ready and willing to get out there and accomplish something, but are constantly tackling the problems of daily life and overwhelming societal and peer pressures.

They are crippled by the overabundance of options and many of them continue sitting on the fence. I founded the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) in 2011 and since then, I have been visiting educational institutions and talking to young people about the need for and significance of conservation. Most of them are inspired at the thought level, but the number of people who actually volunteer to help and engage in the process are few.

For most part, youngsters are insensitive and ignorant about the dire need to work towards a cleaner and greener world and so the possibility of reversing damages seems an onerous task. The measures taken towards conservation are too few and, out of a population of 1.2 billion, 10,000-12,000 people working towards building a better environment may not make a world of difference.

In fact, many people, who work with me, are readying themselves through education and other activities. For instance, two people are pursuing Environmental Law and one has undertaken an environment-oriented course at BITS Pilani. Youngsters working with me fall within the age bracket of 12 and 19 years, and I refer to them as my partners. I believe that the contribution by each and everyone is as important as mine and we will be able to achieve what we have to only through our collective effort.

Instead of institutions forcing a plethora of lectures, seminars and workshops on youngsters, it is important for us to learn to trust them and their decisions. There is a whole bunch of youngsters who are earnestly attempting to make a difference and trying hard to reclaim, restore and conserve.

The challenges and setbacks of sustaining a start-up or an initiative are way too many. But then, with hard work, patience, confidence and faith, nothing is impossible!

Arun Krishnamurthy is the Founder of Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI). EFI has chapters in Chennai, Hyderabad, Shillong, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pondicherry and Delhi

As told to Payal Chhabria

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