My Story

Gunjan Toora

An 11-year-old who would fight with the neighbors for burning their dry garden waste because it caused ‘global warming’, is now 24, trying to find ways to live a better sustainable life, taking one step each day. Here to share what I have learned and to learn more!

I wanted to be an Environmentalist! I was too young when this thought struck me and I was very determined too. Though I didn’t know what exactly would I need to do or study to become one, but I knew one thing- I have to do something about the things that are happening around me, which no one is talking about.

I remember participating in poster making competitions in school. Every year, on Earth Day, Environment Day, Ozone day, city wide competitions would take place and students from all the schools would participate. All of us would paint our beautiful Earth, depict the green Nature; draw vehicles and factories emitting black smoke polluting our air, wastes entering our rivers leading to water pollution; plastic staying on our planet after hundreds of years as it does not biodegrade and so many other things. We would write some amazing slogans on top- “Say no to pollution”, “Save Earth, Save Life”, “Say no to plastic bags”, “Plant more trees, stop deforestation”. (And sadly, things are still the same, even after having crazy technological advancements)

And some how, all of these issues got glued to my mind. I would scold my dad if he doesn’t turn off the vehicle at traffic signals/jams. I would fight with my mom for asking for extra polythene bags from the shopkeeper. I and my sister would make “best out of waste” things at home from old plastic bottles. I would even end up quarreling with my neighbors whenever they would put their dry garden waste on fire. I would bring a bottle of water from my kitchen and douse the fire. (Ah! I wish things were still this simple to control).

As I grew up, I wanted to do a lot more. I told my parents I want to become an Environmentalist. But everyone wanted me to be an Engineer. So, I googled a lot and come back with the response- “I want to be an Environmental Engineer then”. But then again, there were no colleges/ institutions in my city for such studies.

Fast forward 5 years, I am an IT Engineer now. But my thoughts and concerns about the Environment haven’t left me. I get disheartened reading about Climate Change, Pollution, Plastic Menace, Forrest destruction, and I can tell you ‘Climate Grief’, ‘Eco-anxiety’ are real things.

I read, watch, talk a lot about these things and I think everyone should know about these realities too. Our Environment, this whole ecosystem is the basis of our whole existence on this planet, is not in a good condition.

I would be writing about these issues in my articles here, in simple terminologies so that each one of us is aware of what is happening to our Home. Stay tuned and don’t forget to share what you found useful with your friends, family, network, everyone.