Young Conservationist’s Triumph: Removing 700 KG of Plastic, Restoring Crocodile Population


July 5, 2023

Young Conservationist’s Triumph: Removing 700 KG of Plastic, Restoring Crocodile Population


In today\'s rapidly changing world, the importance of conserving nature has become paramount. In the face of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation, the need to protect and preserve our natural resources has become increasingly important.

The delicate balance of ecosystems and the well-being of future generations depend on our collective efforts to conserve nature. Fortunately, a ray of hope emerges as young people step forward to make a positive impact. Amidst the challenges we face, a new generation of passionate individuals is embracing their roles as environmental stewards, leading initiatives, and driving innovative solutions to address pressing environmental issues.

Meet Young Conservationist: Sneha Shahi

Meet Sneha Shahi, a young conservationist and advocate for environmental change. Hailing from Bihar and having experienced different places due to her father\'s profession in the Air Force, Sneha developed a deep connection with nature and recognized the need for conservation.

While pursuing her MA in Environmental Studies at Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, she joined the UNEP Plastic Tide Turner program, where she collaborated with over 300 students to raise awareness about environmental conservation.

In a world where environmental issues are increasingly pressing, Sneha Shahi stands as an inspiring figure, demonstrating the power of individual action and collective efforts. Her commitment to raising awareness, initiating clean-up campaigns, and pursuing research that bridges social and ecological aspects showcases the positive impact young individuals can have on the environment.

Becoming Conservationist

Sneha\'s journey began with the Plastic Tide Turner campaign, supported by the university and the Centre for Environment Education. As part of her research, Sneha and her team discovered an urban stream called Bhukhi, connected to the Vishwamitri River. They found it severely polluted with plastic waste, affecting the ecosystem and even the presence of crocodiles.

Determined to make a difference, Sneha and her fellow students conducted extensive research, organized awareness programs, and initiated a clean-up effort involving 300 volunteers. Their collective efforts resulted in the removal of approximately 700 kgs of plastic waste and a positive impact on the ecosystem, with crocodiles returning to the area more frequently.

Sneha\'s mission extended beyond mere environmental cleanup. She aimed to instill a sense of responsibility and reconnect people with nature. Through the restoration of Bhukhi and similar initiatives, Sneha sought to inspire others to take action in their own surroundings.

Her dedication and passion have served as a guiding light for numerous individuals, encouraging them to recognize the importance of freshwater bodies and actively contribute to their preservation. Sneha\'s remarkable journey exemplifies the power of young individuals in driving positive change and serves as an inspiration for all those who aspire to make a difference in the world.

Fighting Challenges

Sneha faced numerous challenges along the way. One major hurdle was the resistance to change and the difficulty in altering established behaviors and attitudes toward waste disposal. Convincing individuals and communities to embrace sustainable practices and shift away from plastic dependency required persistence and patience.

Additionally, the task of cleaning and restoring the Bhukhi stream itself posed challenges, as it involved hazardous environments and the need to ensure the safety of both volunteers and the wildlife present. Despite these obstacles, Sneha remained resilient, drawing upon her determination and the support of her team to overcome each challenge.

Moreover, to fight the challenges, Shahi started raising awareness through workshops and educational programs targeting schools and colleges. By educating the younger generation about the perils of plastic use and the importance of freshwater bodies, Sneha aimed to foster a sense of responsibility and empower individuals to become change agents in their own communities. She also emphasized the need for proper waste segregation and collaborated with organizations and institutions to implement effective waste management systems.

Sneha\'s work has not only made a tangible impact on the environment but has also inspired countless individuals to reconsider their own actions and actively contribute to conservation efforts. Sneha\'s dedication stands as a source of inspiration for others striving to make a positive difference in the world.

Way to Triumph

Sneha Shahi achieved a remarkable triumph in her mission by successfully removing around 700 kilograms of plastic waste from the Bhukhi stream. This significant accomplishment had a profound impact on the environment and the local community. The removal of such a substantial amount of plastic not only improved the overall aesthetic appeal of the stream but also had far-reaching implications for the health and well-being of the ecosystem.

The removal of plastic waste from the Bhukhi stream allowed for the return of vital wildlife, specifically crocodiles, which had previously been deterred by the polluted conditions. This positive outcome indicated the restoration of the stream\'s ecological balance and demonstrated the direct impact of Sneha\'s efforts on the local biodiversity.

Furthermore, by engaging and mobilizing hundreds of volunteers, Sneha inspired a collective sense of responsibility and fostered a deeper understanding of the importance of freshwater bodies and environmental conservation.

Sneha\'s dedication and passion for environmental conservation have gained recognition. Her work has been featured in National Geographic\'s One for Change campaign, highlighting the stories of environmental changemakers. Currently pursuing her Ph.D., Sneha\'s focus is on studying the Thamirabarani river in Tamil Nadu, exploring the social and ecological aspects and assessing the impact on water quality and biodiversity.



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