Published: 14th June 2020
These two sisters in Hyderabad have got the Oorja to be the planeteers. This is their story
Nukkad nataks, treasure hunts and webinars — sisters Pragya and Mridu Nagori are doing their bit to spread awareness about the nature and Mother Earth. This is what their initiative Oorja is about
The grandparents and parents of Pragya and Mridu Nagori have always encouraged the culture of reduce, reuse and recycle — basically they passed on the mindset of the typical frugal Indian, more popularly known as jugaad. When the duo went to school, they learnt about sustainability and found it to be just a cooler version of jugaad. So, to disseminate the same passion for sustainability that their family had instilled in them, they initiated Oorja in February last year. "The word 'oorja' means something invigorating that makes you feel passionate. And we feel passionate about the environment and want to spread awareness about it," says Pragya.
The sisters | (Pic: Oorja)
The first order of events was conducting 15-minute-long nukkad nataks (street plays) on waste segregation and they did so in various apartment complexes. They even started sourcing pencils made from newspaper and pens made from cardboard, both with and without seeds, to sell them. They organised a treasure hunt around Hyderabad based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, for which over 60 participants zipped around the city in 17 cars. They have organised basketball and squash tournaments keeping SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) in mind. They've done so much but one of their most distinguished achievements has been adopting a park in Gouri Shankar Nagar Colony, Banjara Hills, in June last year. "It was strewn with broken bottles and so much garbage," informs 18-year-old Pragya. Though they had to halt their operations, they garnered a lot of appreciation for it, even from IAS officer Hari Chandana Dasari.
The products they retail | (Pic: Oorja)
Currently, the Oorja girls, who were awarded the REX Karmaveer Chakra award at an event in IIT Delhi last year, are organising webinars called Oye! Chit-Chats with ecopreneurs, sociopreneurs and the like. "When we started Oorja, we did not expect that it would evolve so much. Now, we want to take it further and make it a brand, register it and really change the mindsets of people when it comes to sustainability," says 17-year-old Mridu who is studying at The Future Kid's School.
During the treasure hunt they organised | (Pic: Oorja)
Guests on Oye! Chit-Chats
- Rakshit Tandon, Cyber security expert
- Veena Karnani, Founder, Verdure
- Anju Jain, Owner, Bakism
During an event | (Pic: Oorja)
The sisters are members of Junior Chamber International (JCI). Pragya has also been the chairperson of JCI Banjara, Hyderabad’s junior chapter
For more on them, check out instagram.com/_oorja_