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Anagh - Champion - Social Volunteer Awards 2020

A very social person and a happy soul, who uses the privilege that he has to up-bring the underprivileged within his available space, Anagh is a passionate researcher of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, who is researching on State Policy for Transgenders in Kerala, 2015. He is a Post Graduate in International Relations from Central University of Kerala. He is currently the Vice President of Dhisha, Mentor at Green Army International and also the Project Head of Bring Back Green. A person who keeps to talk in his social media platform and the spaces that he is participating in for political correctness and gender equal space and wants all the people belonging to all gender to receive equal opportunity. In all the activities he is participating in, he uses equal gender participation and talks about the marginalised. He is one among the course coordinators of very first attempt of giving legal literacy to the society of Dhisha. Above all, Anagh is ready to volunteer and learn more on anything and everything that he finds interesting upon.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

As a fact, my mind’s eye dates back to my school days – when volunteering in me was confined merely volunteers in club activities, etc. But here it is to be mentioned that there exists, indeed, a wide gap between the nature of volunteering done by me in my school days and the volunteering services extended by me during the past five years. When I was in the tenth standard I was part of a demonstration in protest of the infamous Nirbhaya Rape in Delhi. This demonstration was organised by my friend Gadha’s mother Adv Asha Unnithan’s organisation named ‘Aarcha’. My presence in this demonstration inspired me to being a part and parcel of an NGO. I was delighted at the prospect being born and brought up as a male and the desire to extend the privileges enjoyed hitherto by me to the underprivileged as well. Apart from that, I came to know that the ribbon and the dolls used for this protest were creations of survivors of tsunami. This further kindled in me the earnest desire to render all possible services to the underprivileged. This was a mere beginning. Thereafter I grew up as an elitist student during my 11th and 12th which contained merely political activities apart from academic performances. Our school did not arrange club activities for 11th and 12th students, the reason being that it was meant only for students upto 10th standard. I was a part of Rajyapuraskar for Scout and Guides activities as school level which I consider a path towards nation building. Thereafter I proceeded to Thiruvananthapuram to undergo Integrated MA in International Relations. Herein lay the turning point in my life bringing about an, abrupt change in my perceptions. My classmate Arathi Aneesh discussed about her new initiative as a vice president of a state level organisation called Dhisha and sought my services as a member. I expressed my affirmative opinion, with a positive outlook in this regard. I was sure that this would be a turning point as college life in Thiruvananthapuram was merely confined the usual campus friendships, academic activities and so on. I had a clear insight on anti-racism, gender neutrality and anti-casteism. This insight in me persuaded to conceive in favour of the underprivileged who are the marginalised community from dalits, tribals and gender and sexuality minority. If I am a gender activist who speak and work for the women and SOGIESEC today, the credit goes to ‘Dhisha’ beyond any shadow of doubt. I perceive that I as Vice President of Dhisha I am in a position to act in favour of dalits, the tribals and the underprivileged classes of the society.

Apart from activities relating to Dhisha, I had joined the United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise, Thiruvananthapuram as an intern during my under graduation days itself. During my days there, I was delighted to gain better knowhow on Sustainable Development Goals. I was fortunate to get in touch with noted activists like Vandana Shiva, and thereby had the golden chance to conduct programmes like Campus Development Programme in 2017, a national level Conference in 2018 held at College of Engineering Trivandrum and many more. After the completion of one year internship over there, I had the chance to volunteer several programmes relating to Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action like Kerala State Agri Fest 2019, held at Palakkad, Tech Meet, held at Institute of Engineers, Thiruvananthapuram at 2019 and many more and still do so.

I extend my voluntary services in the field of environment too. After my post-graduation I had the chance to get an insight into the ‘Green Army’, an organisation involved in Green Protocol, Climate Education and Decentralised Waste Management. I joined the Green Army as a fellow and, thereafter, continued in Green Army as Green Army Coordinator. I was part of organising a camp for school students in 2019, the programme names as ‘Harithanagrotsavam’, was intended to spread awareness on the ill effects of Single Use Plastics and Decentralised Waste Management. During my services of mentor of Green Army, till today, I have the chance of implementing the message in my life to a large extend and in addition, create awareness on the same to other opportune participants. The credit for my transformation as a climate educator or as an environmental activist – whichever the case may be, can be attributed to none other than the Green Army. I am fortunate enough to be a part of project entitled Plastic Task Force Kerla of Thanal Trust, a Stake Holder of Green Army, and now I am a core team member of Plastic Task Force Kerala – Thrissu Chapter. I was also fortunate enough to be part and parcel of BBG – Bring Back Green, founded organisation founder by friends Fahad T and Akhilesh Anilkumar and I could implement several projects as a project head from the training from which I acquired from Green Army like Green Protocol in several state and national level events across the states, climate curriculum formulations, climate education and many more. During this Corona Period, I have rendered selfless service to Corona Patients and thereby I was declared Corona Positive (and thereafter negative, after that) at Covid Frontline Treatment Centre. This is apart from my services during flood to the flood victims in Kasargod and Capital City in either of the flood times.


VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

As a fact, my mind’s eye dates back to my school days – when volunteering in me was confined merely volunteers in club activities, etc. But here it is to be mentioned that there exists, indeed, a wide gap between the nature of volunteering done by me in my school days and the volunteering services extended by me during the past five years. My inspiration towards volunteering was not just a small incident. When I was in the tenth standard I was part of a demonstration in protest of the infamous Nirbhaya Rape in Delhi. This demonstration was organised by my friend’s mother’s organisation named ‘Aarcha’. My presence in this demonstration inspired me to being a part and parcel of an NGO. I was delighted at the prospect being born and brought up as a male and the desire to extend the privileges enjoyed hitherto by me to the underprivileged as well. Apart from that, I came to know that the ribbon and the dolls used for this protest were creations of survivors of tsunami. This further kindled in me the earnest desire to render all possible services to the underprivileged.


VOLUNTEERING FOR ME

The book of my life has been filled with a lot of privileges, which has made me contemplate on extending all possible help and services to the underprivileged members of society. I opted to seek the services rendered by social organisations as a modus operandi as a measure to fulfill this ambition of mine. Above all the aspect of volunteering evinces the aspect of usefulness in me.


PROJECT

Coastal Erosion: Causes and Impact on Indigenous Community


ORGANISATION

Bring Back Green


MISSION & VISSION

This project is intended to understand the causes and issues of Coastal Erosion. The Coastal Erosion is causing issues to not only environment but also to the community. This project intended to study the impact of the coastal erosion on land, shoreline, community, exclusively women, and the settlement. This project intended to study the solutions of the shoreline erosion that the government has put forward. This project also focused on how unscientific is the construction in the coastal area. This project also focuses on how unscientific solutions are causing more issues.


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The nature of coastal erosion along Thiruvananthapuram, which is part of the southwest coast of India, has been studied by many researchers. Earlier studies using Survey of India toposheets, satellite imageries and aerial photographs have provided a baseline understanding on shoreline change and associated erosion and accretion along this coast. Recent study conducted by National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management reported locations of erosion occurrence along Kerala coast with maximum occurrence of erosion zones along Thiruvananthapuram. Shoreline change, other than the normal seasonal dynamics of shoreline, was analysed with respect to the specific morphologies along this high energy coast. The study analyses longterm and short-term shoreline changes using field mapping and geospatial techniques. The role of natural morphologies and artificial coastal protection and other structures in coastal erosion is examined. Coastal morphologic features and artificial structures in the study region were delineated from a survey. satellite imager. The entire coast was surveyed during the year 2014 for delineating the artificial structures and other coastal morphologies. Coastal scientists use shoreline indicators such as vegetation line, high water line, low water line, land–water boundary, still water line or similar indicators for delineating shoreline from different data sources. A shoreline indicator is a feature that is used as a proxy to represent the ‘‘true’’ shoreline position. When shorelines are extracted from different data sources for comparison like in the present study, appropriate signature or indicator for shoreline has to be used for making the extracted shorelines comparable. In a micro-tidal high energy coast like the south-west coast of India, the spatial difference between different shoreline indicators may not be significant. On a perusal of different data sets, it was observed that the Low Water Line (LWL) given in the toposheet is close to the Still Water Line (SWL) mapped during field observations in fair season which was again comparable with the Land–Water Boundary (LWB) obtained from satellite imagery. Hence, ‘LWL, LWB and SWL’ were considered for extracting shoreline from toposheet, imagery and field observations, respectively. Satellite imageries during spring tide were not used for shoreline extraction since the reach of sea water goes beyond berm line during that period. Toposheets were georeferenced, vectorised and used as base map. The LWL was extracted from the georeferenced toposheets and LWB visually interpreted from georeferenced IRS P6 imagery. It was ensured that there was one to one matching of identified control points both in the toposheet and the imagery. Using toposheet as the base map, satellite imageries were superimposed by taking sufficient Ground Control Points (GCPs). Shoreline mapping using GPS survey was relied upon to get the present shoreline. It was ensured that the shoreline measured using GPS was tied to the control points identified in the toposheet and the imagery. Extraction of shoreline was done after dividing the entire coastal stretch into morphological subcells with sufficient number of GCPs in each subcell. Through this process, whatever error that occurs due to accuracy and resolution limitations of GPS and imageries or distortions in base maps was confined within each sector. This could reduce the spatial errors getting accumulated and compounded. This approach was successfully used for the Panchayat Resource Mapping undertaken for the state of Kerala. The entire Thiruvananthapuram coast was visited, and detailed sketch has been prepared to understand the role of natural morphologies and artificial structures in causing or accelerating coastal erosion. Shoreline modifications and erosion-accretion due to breakwaters and groynes were also obtained by comparing multidated maps, imageries and GPS shoreline. The shoreline prior to the construction of breakwaters and groynes was obtained from Survey of India toposheets. Present shoreline has been delineated from satellite imageries and GPS shoreline mapping. As part of the project several webinars were conducted and one exclusively on the issues faced by the women community of the coastal area population.

LENGTH OF SERVICE

The project started on 18th of August, 2020 and technically ended on the 25th of October, 2020


ROLE IN PROJECT

I was the head of the project hence was assigned responsibilities of varied nature. The officials of Save Veliyathura requested me to conduct a technical study on Coastal Erosion: Causes and Impact on Indigenous Community in Thiruvananthapuram as Bring Back Green is being conducting several revolutionary movements including EIA Draft 2020's objections. I was assigned the duty of preparation of a questionnaire, conducting webinars, collecting data and needed literature and the main area of the research. The area that I was doing till date was in one way or the other related to the works I am indulged in till date. But this area of research and volunteering was completely new for me and I havent even read or interacted with any victims or activists of this area. Eventhough some people are friends and officials whom I knew are from this area or are specialists in this area, but I have never been in a discussion with them related to this. As part of Covid-19 Protocols, we team bring Back Green is been in online awareness programme and knew how to conduct webinars and organise and collect data through online tools since I am a researcher but a technical study was a complete new area for me and that is the take away for me as part of this work. Myself being a researcher, preparation of questionnaire and writing thesis that I am already thorough with helped the research for the organisation to conclude this.


IMPACT OF PROJECT

This project is intended to understand the causes and issues of Coastal Erosion. The Coastal Erosion is causing issues to not only environment but also to the community. This project intended to study the impact of the coastal erosion on land, shoreline, community, exclusively women, and the settlement. This project intended to study the solutions of the shoreline erosion that the government has put forward. This project also focused on how unscientific is the construction in the coastal area. This project also focuses on how unscientific solutions are causing more issues. So we were able to spread the idea of the Coastal Erosion and issues of Vizhinjam Port to the society.

As we submitted the report to ministry, and as a suggestion that we put forward, Harbour Engineering Department of Government of Kerala are joining their hands with us for a capacity building programme for the Engineering, Fisheries and Envionmental Science students from December 1 2020 to December 15 2020. With Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Science, we are conducting a National Online Conference in January 2021 on the said topic so as frame a technical edited book with presentation of the experts and researchers. Our research was in connection with two Coastal Area organisations and in our first webinar, we gave the community members an opportunity to present their views, issues and challenges they face to the community. The members of privileged society were aware through our sessions that the issue is so grave. As this project was focused to the small group of Thriuvananthapuram, we later conducted a national level webinar with core team members of two state level organisations on the issues of the South West Coast of Indian Seashore line and we declared that the project on entire south west coast of the coastal area will be studied.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS


  • GOAL 1: No Poverty

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education

  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality

  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

  • GOAL 13: Climate Action

  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land

  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Best Paper Award in National and International Conferences

  • Published Articles in National and International Journals

  • Chapter in Edited Books


FUTURE PLANS

I would like to go ahead with the gender and environmental activities that I am engaged with. I would like to spread the climate education, waste management and gender equality in all the possibles spaces and fields and areas that I can explore. Other than that we Bring Back Green are planning to do more works on Coastal Erosion, Climate Education, collaborating with several institutes. Also we Dhisha are planning to focus gender awareness and education with some LGBTIQA+ organisations. In the recent days, I have been engaged in some sessions which is on Social Engineering in which I am engaging sessions on Social Empowerment. Hence, I would like to explore the other areas of Social Engineering where I think TGF is the perfect space for the same.


REFERENCE:


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