Published: 20th June 2019
Aditya Madhav is unearthing any kind of data that will help organisations do more for the environment. Here's how
Aditya Madhav's strength is research and his interest lies in History. For Madhav, the coming together of these two has brought in a sense of purpose in his life
When we are a tourist place, we probably are so gob-smacked by the view that we don't think about anything beyond the present. But ask N Aditya Madhav what his reaction to looking at a place of historical significance would be and he says that through his mind's eye, he starts imaging the past. And as a result, he starts asking himself questions like, 'What kind of trees grew here back then?' and 'What sort of biodiversity existed here?'. He did not stop there. He set out to find answers. And Google, some vernacular books and research papers had them. So while studying the wetlands and mangroves of Andhra Pradesh, Madhav used the technical aspects available on Google Maps and pictures available on Google Earth to draw up a present vs past scenario when it comes to the biodiversity, including a list of the kind of plants which were grown. Same with the Eastern Ghats.
As per Madhav, the biggest threat to the environment is its negligence
And what does all this research on ecosystem and biodiversity helps, you ask? This research is accessed by NGOs, archaeologists, educational institutes and companies to further their cause of doing something for the environment. Case in point, professors from Disaster Management Training Center, University of Tokoyo flew down to Vishakhapatnam and Aditya served as a resource person for them and introduced sustainable disaster management techniques. Did we mention that he will soon be travelling to Japan to deliver a masterclass on the same? "They are using some of my data on mangrove conservation to understand how they actually help bind the soil and prevent soil erosion naturally back in their city," he explains. Similarly, during his long walks to the beach and the Eastern Ghats, he understood how hills actually help control intense heat waves and coastal calamities. In the bargain, he also discovered a few Buddhist sites near Vishakhapatnam which were earlier unknown. Apart from all this, he has more than 30,000 photographs on Wikimedia and more than 26,000 authorised data contributions and corrections on Wikipedia. So the wealth of knowledge that Madhavhas accumulated, and is still accumulating, because of his inclination towards the environment, history and research, enables him and many others to realise the importance of going back to growing old species of plant and adapting old methods to help counter global warming and climate change.
Green warrior: Madhav has worked extensively in Andhra Pradesh, especially Vishakhapatnam | (Pic: S Senbaga Pandiyan)
But one thing we don't understand, how does a youngster born in Bhadrachalam, Telangana; currently working as a freelancer and senior coordinator for multimedia training projects in Hyderabad, fall in love with the biodiversity of the past and present of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh? So much so that his whole work on conservation is centred around this coastal city? "I was associated with several NGOs during a stint in Vishakhapatnam in 2009. I was working with environmentalists Rani Sarma and EAS Sarma (former Union Energy Secretary). Then worked with Forum For Better Visakha and there has been no looking back," explains Madhav. Every single aspect as to how his data and research can be used to be more practical towards environmental issues is formulated by him to help NGOs and organisation with their work. "I discovered that there are more than 50 different kinds of environmental days and I created modules for how students from different schools can observe them. Like making seed balls, screening documentaries, mangrove visits and more," explains Madhav. He has also formulated a climate change policy and is currently coming up with a proposal to the government that urges them to plant shelterbelt trees for coastal management.
Highlighting the importance of opting for local flora rather than choosing exotic plants, Madhav says that not only does the fauna, like birds, take several years to get accustomed to living in such trees, but local varieties of trees like neem, banyan and jamun help absorb more carbon dioxide and purify the air around. Currently, Madhav is working on a gardening project for an organisation in Hyderabad wherein, microgreens can be grown at home.
Madhav has dedicated more than 12 years of his life to this field
So clearly, this environmental lover's forte is documentation and research, which he does extensively to help other organisations who in turn help the environment. So in between all of this what does he love doing? "I love walking along the shores and just observing the flora and fauna. I also love the hills and climbing them and figuring out how plants indigenous to the place are useful in helping us save the environment," he says. Clearly, the love for the environment runs deep!
What we can do to help him:
- Start valuing and respecting local species of plants
- Make sure the information you have on the environment is correct
- Use the information to promote environmental consciousness