Published: 29th May 2019
Meet Vivek Rathod, the lad who is uniting all the NGOs in Vizag to make it a better place
Trendsetters Charitable Trust, started by Vivek and a few others, coordinate with all other NGOs in the city to ensure that they have what they need
Who knew that going trekking every Sunday will help Vivek Rathod discover what he really wants to do? And what did the revelation bring? The realisation that, "There are many NGOs in Visakhapatnam and all of them don't need funds, they need books, clothes and other such material," shares Vivek. So to bring all NGOs in the City of Destiny on one page, Vivek and a couple of his friends started Trendsetters Charitable Trust (TCT). They conduct five programmes annually and one of them has a great recall, the Clean Up Your Wardrobe campaign. Adopting a door-to-door method, their members visit every house and encourage families to donate clothes and after age-wise segregation, they distribute it among the various orphanages and old age homes in the coastal city. Their Diwali drives are also quite popular, we are told.
Looking straight: Vivek Rathod with a rescued barn owl | (Pic: Vivek Rathod)
TCT expanded their scope and started traveling to tribal areas to rescue snakes along with the Forest Department officials and were fascinated by birds. "Especially their calls," explains the 30-year-old. This fascination led to the start of a new chapter in his life as he Co-founded the Vizag Bird Watching Society. They started contributing to eBirds, an online platform for documentation of bird-spotting which researchers access to get real-time data, and recorded many firsts like the Peregrine Falcon, Thick-billed Green Pigeon and other such exotic species which were known, but not spotted in Vizag for a long time. Vivek was engaged in this activity which gave him a chance to use all the skills that he had learned while pursuing a Diploma in Photography from Andhra University. Their work to ensure that White-bellied Sea Eagle and Barn Owls remain regular visitors to their city is commendable as they went to great lengths to spread the importance of these birds among the public.
Vivek and a few others have also made some environment-related documentaries
So, it is safe to say that one thing led to another and the adventure junkie Vivek has come far from his trekking days and turned into a true blue environmentalist and a social worker. And now that the transformation is complete, he wants to take more solid steps in the direction of spreading awareness about the environment. "We really want to design educational programmes for school to involve them in conservation activities," says Vivek who has pursued his BTech. He particularly plans on writing about all that he has found and get it published in prestigious magazines or journals.
Apart from this, Vivek is an avid stamp collector and he has collected 3,000 stamps from 95 countries. He also has also collected 700 coins from 55 countries and has been doing so since class VII. And as of now, nor does he intend to stop collection stamps and coins nor slow down in his mission of providing NGOs with what they need and making Vizag a more environmental-friendly place.
When Vivek and Co stepped in:
Because of lack of habitat, Barn owls make nooks and corners of apartments their homes. They are very noisy and make a mess of their surroundings. Vivek and his team try to educate others about their behaviour, importance and their role in keeping the rodent population in check
White-bellied sea eagle
These birds make their nests on really tall trees, in the absence of which, they started using cell phone towers of BSNL. Vivek and a few others wrote to them, asking them not to clean the nests or damage them
For more on him, click on facebook.com/VIveknRathod