IF you have ever wondered what is causing the summers to be too hot or why the winters have become colder. Or why are cyclones and tornadoes appearing so frequently and the ice in the North Pole melting, the answer is climate change.
In acknowledgement to this, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in an Earth Day message: “Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path.”
Here are some disturbing facts about climate change as confirmed by NASA:
- The average temperature of Earth has increased by 2.1 degree Fahrenheit since 1880.
- The Arctic ice is shrinking at the rate of 13.1% per decade.
- The global sea level has been rising at the rate of 3.3 millimetres per year, over the past 100 years.
- The levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are at their highest in the past 0.65 million years, valued at around 415 parts per million.
It comes as no surprise that there is a lot of hue and cry for curbing pollution, maintaining and developing sustainability and fighting climate change. Especially in a rapidly developing country like India, the changing climate is creating even more serious problems. Understanding the urgency, there are many individual volunteers, government agencies and NGOs working towards creating awareness and helping Mother Earth tackle this menace.
Here is a list of the top 5 NGOs working for climate change in India:
Headquartered at Dehradun, Balajee Sewa Sansthan was founded in 2002. Since then, it has been actively creating awareness and initiatives about hygiene, clean water and sanitation, and social and cultural equality among the underprivileged.
BSS has been quite vocal about the issues related to the environment while promoting the use of sustainable equipment that works on renewable resources such as solar energy. They have tied up with many big names such as Phillips, D-Light India, etc. to promote smokeless stoves and solar lanterns in Uttarakhand.
Keeping in mind the ill effects of global warming and climate change, Balajee Sewa Sansthan started a unique initiative of mass tree plantation at various places in Uttarakhand. According to this initiative, loan seekers at BSS are provided with seedlings, based on the local flora and climatic conditions, which have to be planted in their houses or nearby areas to avail loans. During the process of inspection of utilisation of the loan amount, it is checked how well the sapling has been planted and nurtured.
ASSIST was established in 1985 with the idea that India can progress only if its villages are developed. Primarily focussing on the education, sanitation and skill development of the rural people of Andhra Pradesh, ASSIST also works on other matters such as environment, water scarcity and the comprehensive development of society. It is now recognized as one of the leading NGOs working for climate change in India.
With water shortage being one of the major side effects of climate change, ASSIST focuses on the provision of clean and hygienic water for domestic and industrial use. They also help disadvantaged rural populations build and refurbish drinking water sources for domestic consumption and restore water bodies for agricultural purposes such as irrigation of wastelands.
They organize several awareness programs to educate the rural population regarding the importance of saving water, sanitation, optimum usage and maintenance of water bodies to ensure sustainable development.
Bundelkhand is an area known for being arid. The rocky lands with low fertility and less ground water make the condition of this region worse, and there are water shortages for domestic and agricultural purposes. Additionally, the unpredictable climatic conditions lead to frequent droughts and other natural calamities such as soil erosion.
Haritika was established in 1994 to develop natural resource management and fight the effects of climate change and provide a better standard of living to the people of Bundelkhand.
Carefully selecting and working on vulnerable water sources, they have proactively worked on many sustainable projects. As an NGO working for climate change in India, Haritika has taken several initiatives for water harvesting and management, agriculture optimisation, conservation of soil and fighting deforestation.
Having an experience in over 250 projects based on modern technology, energy efficiency and conservation, the Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) is one of the most innovative NGOs working for climate change in India. Their major focus is on creating a better environment in terms of sustainability through revolutionary technology.
TIDE attempts to develop the lives of people by creating equitable opportunities for the disadvantaged. Their undertakings have brought an astonishing drop in the usage of firewood, each year. They have also brought down the emission of carbon dioxide to a large extent.
TIDE’s flagship initiative VidyutRakshaka, is an innovative concept of offering customized electricity-saving recommendations to people in a society or area. Volunteers adopt a “neighbourhood watch” approach and observe the electricity consumption pattern of the local population. Based on the observations, they offer recommendations to ensure sustained savings and sustainable consumption. Apart from this, they also conduct many awareness programs on climate change at various schools in Bengaluru and Chennai.
They also register students as environment ambassadors, who carry the message of saving the environment everywhere. TIDE’s approach has been reported as Best Practices by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
As an NGO working for climate change in India, Abhinav spreads awareness about clean drinking water, hygiene and sanitation in towns and villages near Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, where it is based.
Keeping in mind the scarcity of water due to unpredictable rainfall and extreme heat during the summers, they educate people about saving water, the various methods of testing the purity of water and the importance of sanitation.
They also work towards the effective management of waste and help people fight the ill effects of climate change. They promote skill development among rural and disadvantaged people, support destitute senior citizens and encourage incorporating modern technology into agricultural activities.
This article was updated in May 2023.
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