Published: 05th June 2020
Here's why Youth For Sustainability wants to focus on hyperlocal issues to make a bigger impact
Sonam Wangchuk's I Live Simply, Centre For Responsible Business, PNV Foundation, Human Circle and others are the partners of YFS. They are also present in cities like Visakhapatnam and New Delhi
Youth are the strength of this nation and indeed, the world. We are seeing them step up, especially when it comes to climate change, and there are a bunch of youngsters in Odisha too who are coming together to contribute to the global efforts. Youth For Sustainability (YFS) is one such organisation who, in a bid to join the crusade, launched its operations in January 2020.
Doing what they do best | (Pic: YFS)
After graduating from Ashoka University, Punyasloka Panda represented India at the Asian Youth for Sustainable Palm Oil Summit 2019 in Bangkok (co-organised by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil [RSPO]), a conference that engages the young to make sustainable palm oil a movement. He pitched the idea of his movement, which focused on the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12 and 13 responsible consumption and production and climate action respectively. "But it wasn't enough that the idea was selected, I wanted to implement it too," expresses the 22-year-old. He connected with Country Head of RSPO India Kamal Seth and with him, launched his own independent project, the same one which he had pitched at the summit, and it came to be known as YFS.
At an event | (Pic: YFS)
The evolved idea is to connect with multiple campus cells and focus on hyperlocal issues. "And with the same cell, we work to solve the problem because, after all, every problem is a macro-level one. We want to work with college cells individually so that we can collectively show the work," explains the Dhenkanal-born youngster and adds, "The mission was to show how people, planet and profit can go hand-in-hand." Take for example, their cell at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT). The institute was trying to ensure that all their 15 canteens become single-use plastic-free last year, but weren't able to. That's when YFS helped in getting things moving internally. They even proposed to the Odisha Football Club that depending on the carbon footprint they leave behind with regards to the flights they take, they will plant trees to help negate it.
At work | (Pic: YFS)
YFS also offers green auditing for schools apart from offering to work with them to reduce their carbon footprint in feasible ways. They currently have cells in Sai International School, SOA, BGU and nine such institutions. Since they launched just this year, this is a formidable feat. "Because of the lockdown, a few of our activities have come to a standstill," he says. All their activities have been possible due to the 95 volunteers who are currently a part of their movement.
For more on them, check out theyfs.in