Welcome to our Series „Humans of Climate Action“.
This series is dedicated to uplifting non-European climate activists.
This interview is with Tara, from Pune, India.
Tara is active with FridaysForFuture and Jeevitnadi.
You can read the German translation of this interview here.
1.) Can you tell us something about yourself?
Aloe! My name is Tanmayi, I prefer to be called as Tara/Tanya. My pronouns are she /they. I’m 20 and I’m a student pursuing geography major. I am an animal rights activist and my interests include communicating with people, reading and browsing on internet. I am from India, Pune city.
2.) Can you tell us a bit more about your personal motivation?
So my father is an agriculturalist and I belong to a farmer’s family, this made my connection with nature strong even if I grew up in city. I had a pet dog who died due to plastics when I was a toddler, where as I had a big problem due to garbage (mostly plastics) in my second grade when I had to realise my pet crab on the river. When I was around 16 years old I started volunteering with a cleaning grp and then realised the impact of plastics and started working and researching about it. Gradually I started volunteering with more environment based groups. I just hope no other animals dies due to plastic and other causes like global warming and climate change. I ‚d really hate to see them die :'(.
3.) What is your role in the climate movement?
I volunteered/volunteer for many organisations, had my own for a while. Currently due to pandemic and restricted travel I work my maximum time with local FFF chapter and Jeevitnadi – Living River Foundation. In past I have volunteered with Sagar mitra, Swachh Pune Swachh Bharat (SPSB) ,Nelda, iVolunteer, Visionary Fighters etc.
4.) What is the movement like in your country?
In my country the youth power is amazing! I see the youth being passionate in general for whatever topics. No exception for the climate movement. The number of people who would volunteer is big but I think there is certain lack of understanding the entire movement. But again, even the smallest contribution counts in. So I hope for best and make efforts towards connecting more youth towards the movement.
5.) What do you love about your region?
Ah well so my city is like in midst of Hills (also used to be known as city of hills) sadly even I live on hill slope (sad cause it was encroached) and there’s a river named Mutha which passes by and is such a beauty at its inception. There is variety of birds that visit my garden. Currently the city is not exactly in best shape especially in terms of environment but I can see how it can turn more green if citizens try. There used to be big trees like banyan and farms at foot hill until like 2000s (just before my birth) I ‚d have loved to experience it.
6.) What is the most serious environmental problem in your region?
Current biggest problem we are facing is River Front Development. There is a lot of sewage in our river and yet our municipal corporation has put forward a river beautification project. Pune is a flood prone region and the sewage needs to be treated first as it also pollutes the downstream. Now there is a parallel project which is yet to commence which will build more STPs (Sewage treatment plants) but it is not enough especially when seen how the city is exapanding. Also the RFD project is encroaching the blue lines and red lines, building embankments which will make the city prone to floods then it already is. Currently there is a group of experts working on it along with 250+ citizens (which is not much in comparison to population of city) but it is honest work :).
7.) What is the most successful campaign you participated in or heard about?
Hmm now this is interesting. So I was working on this case where there were around 63 trees to be cut. It was completely unnecessary. Me and my colleague wrote applications, created a petition and almost won the case because the trees were not cut. Thanks to Maharashtra Urban Tree Act .And the tender wasn’t realised. What I learnt from this was to be in constant communication with the officer, we lacked it at times. We were in communication but the number needed to be increased. This comes from the incident where we didn’t receive any post from the ward office related to hearing. They say they posted the letter but there was no letter in post office nor any evidence that they had posted. So yeah that is most important thing I learnt from this case P.s. it’s been over months now and they need to fill in another request for cutting trees because after 3 months the first request of cutting trees becomes invalid.
8.) What are youre talents and abilities in a fight for a better world?
For me I think I’m passionate, and I think I can communicate very well. I try to empathize with person in front of me and if something catches my eye, I try to learn about it as much as possible and then communicate it with people around me.
9.) What is your vision for the planet, the nature and us humans in 2050? Do you think it’s realistic?
Well I really see our world which is inclusive, respectful of people and vegan given we are not too f**ked up that we cannot reverse anything. But yes If it is like anything I imagine it will be vegan, empowered, inclusive, respectful, like people will preserve , be proud of their identities but not really defensive about it. If to give it in gist: Ocean is my nation (may whatever region we might be born in we all share the ocean, and it is the one which unites us!)
10) Anything else you want to tell us?
All the best!!!