Branch Manager: Aditya Pundir
Clean Energy Policy and Programs Consultant: Bhavesh Swami
Senior Project Officer: Sheetal Antil
Green School Program Manager: Rekha Lalla
Project Officer: Geetika Srivastava
India Branch Manager Aditya’s activist journey began with a journey of a different kind, when he moved from Dehradun, a beautiful green valley in the foothills of the Himalayas to the megacity of Delhi.
In Delhi, Aditya saw how intense heat and air pollution were stifling the city and creating real threats to both residents and the local environment. Then in 2007, he went to see An Inconvenient Truth with his family. It was a turning point in his life, as he and his wife began discussing how they might be able to make a difference for the world their children would inherit.
After seeing the film, Aditya began working on climate change awareness and develop a website to engage children on the issue. The site was a big hit among schools and Aditya was soon giving talks to students. Through this experience, he learned about the upcoming Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Melbourne, Australia, and the rest, as they say, is history.
As branch manager since 2010, Aditya has worked to develop programs that would match the skills of the Indian Climate Reality Leaders with the needs of the climate change movement in India. One result was the branch’s flagship Teachers Training program, which has trained more than 6,000 teachers as climate communicators, reaching out to the country’s more than 500 million children studying for a better future.
In 2019, the branch expanded its educational outreach in multiple ways, first launching the Green Campus Program, which seeks to put campuses on the path to carbon neutrality by working on issues from clean energy to air quality improvement. Already nine institutions have completed the program and another 15 are now moving forward. The branch also hosted the International Conference on Sustainability Education 2019 in partnership with UNESCO to bring together more than 500 participants from nearly 30 countries to strengthen and build momentum for environmental education.
The branch’s work doesn’t stop with education. Recognizing the severe droughts across the country coming from changing rain and water table patterns, Climate Reality India launched a rainwater harvesting program in affected areas in 2019. Working at the village level, Climate Reality Leaders help build and maintain water recharge facilities, with Climate Reality Leader Col. Shashikant Dalvi in particular training more than 300 students at 120 schools in Pune on rainwater harvesting and water conservation.
In addition, the branch supports the Indian government’s efforts on afforestation and tree planting. Last year, the branch worked with Climate Reality Leaders Prafulla Dhal and Raj Mohan to launch a mission to plant 1 million fruit trees by 2022. As of August 2019, one hundred thousand trees have been planted by the villagers, and another two hundred thousand trees will be distributed in 2020.