On 21 Sept 2019, EarthPillars360 launched an “awareness to educate” campaign about the value of life below water, life on land and the need for immediate and proactive climate action. Held at a venue in South Mumbai, the event received an overwhelmingly positive response and was attended by citizens and organizations across industry and the social sector. It was made a grand success thanks to the efforts of the volunteer People Pillars.
The day kicked off with a specially curated display of photo art and educational videos contributed by the environmental experts and NGOs associated with EarthPillars360 who shared stories and knowledge about the different ways in which humankind interacts with nature. Next, Shashidhar Vempala, a conservationist succinctly explained the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Most importantly, these experiences shed light on how critical biodiversity is to our very existence and the urgent need for sustainable ecosystems that protect the natural environmental heritage that Earth is blessed with. The wealth of information and the interactive nature of both the sessions helped foster a healthy discussion and served the purpose of educating those in attendance about the finer nuances of environmental stewardship.
As evening fell, the annual gala launch commenced with an exclusive attendance of 160 invited guests. After being welcomed with beverages and delicious snacks, attendees visited the exhibition and interacted with the speakers and other guests. CMD Meenakshi V Rai then took the dais to welcome and thank the guests, key sponsors, directors Mr. Vivek Rai Gupta, Mr. Anuraag Agarwal, Mr. Sunit Mehra, the COO Mr. Sarabjit Singh, Ms. Ritika Basu, the EarthPillars360 Advisory Committee, volunteers and the National Geographic Traveller India team. Talented teenagers Jiya Ahuja and Varenya Pakvasa then presented a soulful musical performance with songs that were chosen relevant to the theme of climate action and peaceful co-existence. Keeping with the mood, veteran actor Mr. Dalip Tahil united on stage with Meenakshi V Rai, to sound a powerful and inspiring alarm, setting the tone for the rest of the evening, calling for prompt environmental action. The wonderful audience, comprising environmentally conscious citizens from all walks of life, wholeheartedly responded by pledging to dedicate their efforts to create a brighter future.
The highlight of the evening was a panel of esteemed speakers, Mr. Hans Dalal of Prowl Trust; Dr. Supraja Dharini of The Tree Foundation; Dr. Yaduraj Khadpekar of Wildlife SOS; Dr. Larra Shah of Revive Foundation; Mr. Pradip Shah of Grow-Trees; Ms. Aarati Savur of Parisar Asha; Mr. Kingzong Bhutia of Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee; and Mr. Christan Noel of Paddle for Future. Moderated by the directors of EarthPillars360, the discussion about the human relationship with nature garnered great audience participation. Guests and speakers networked over dinner, eager to contribute to the EarthPillars360’s cause and campaign in whatever way they could. This sentiment was an endorsement of an environmentally conscious mindset and collective awareness about how our lifestyle impacts natural surroundings. The successful Annual Gala is the first of many meaningful initiatives to come.