The adverse impact of climate change is now being felt globally while global warming has become a major cause of concern. Given the backdrop, Dharitri, the most credible and impartial regional daily of Odisha which is turning 50 this year, initiates steps to create awareness among the youth about this most urgent issue of climate change by hosting the third edition of Dharitri Youth Conclave November 24, 2023 at the Rail Auditorium here.

This year’s conclave brings together youth icons and environmentalists to discuss climate emergency and the path ahead. The expert panelists include environmentalist Sneha Shahi, managing editor of Down To Earth magazine Richard Mahapatra, conservationist and Forest Man of India Padma Shri Jadav Payeng, and environment activist & founder of Environmental Foundation of India (EFI) Arun Krishnamurthy. One of the brightest examples of youths fighting to save the earth from pollution is Sneha Shahi.

Hailing from Gujarat, Sneha is one of the 18 young activists affiliated with UNEP’s Plastic Tide Turner Campaign and winner of the Youth for Earth Award. Growing up in Gujarat, Sneha was always a girl who showed keen interest in environmental activities.

In 2019, Sneha led a team of volunteers to clean up the Bhukhi stream, linked to Vishwamitri river in Vadodara, to remove 700 kg of plastic waste, following which crocodiles that were part of the waters, began to appear regularly. Sneha, who is pursuing her PhD in Extreme Hydrological Events at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, is on a mission to revive the waterbody. “The best advice I can give young people is to channel their empathy and passion into working towards a greater cause. The planet is dying and there are solutions, but there is no implementation. So, if people can work towards effective execution of plans and policies, that would be wonderful,” she opined.