Bhavya Thakkar is a fifth-grader, and she created Earth Charter Indiana’s Youth AmbassadorsShe created the program entirely on her own. The program was launched in December 2020 and has been tirelessly working since then to raise awareness about Indiana’s climate emergency. The Youth Ambassadors emphasize community efforts and believe that the only way to combat the crisis is for people to unite and prioritize climate action.
Bhavya has a presentation that she uses to persuade other people about the urgency of climate emergency. It is filled full of facts and statistics to encourage better climate literacy. It’s worth a look. Here. Bhavya is passionate about climate change and participates in pageants in her spare time. Bhavya uses her platform for climate change awareness and is redefining pageant culture to make sure climate change is discussed in all media.
I had the privilege of speaking with Bhavya’s mother and father over the summer. They graciously agreed to an interview. They explained to my why Youth Ambassadors are so important and why it is important that more students join them effort.
Let me know a bit about the Youth Ambassadors Program and what has been accomplished so far.
Bhavya’s mother: We started doing a lot of tree-planting in our community, a number of trash pickups, you know, every small effort counts towards the bigger goal. To do that, we need to foster a continuous exchange of ideas and share our knowledge with others so we can add more children to our group. The more, the better. To get more kids involved in this process, we’ve done online/virtual recycling projects and things like that. We’ve spoken to the Noblesville City Council, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and Keep Noblesville Beautiful organizations to try to give them more hands to [do more]To make these environmental efforts real, the city has initiated proactive projects. It is not easy. [climate change] is already too much out of our control, but people like you and me can actually make this “out of our control” effect lesser and lesser, a little bit more every day. Every person counts, so we want to have a constant effort towards… fighting this climate crisis.
How did Youth Ambassadors begin?
Bhavya: We’ve been with Earth Charter Indiana for a while now, but we created the Youth Ambassadors in December [of 2020]. The reason we started this was because not a lot of people know about climate change, so we wanted to invite more people into the climate change world and realize that they need to know about climate change, and it’s their future that’s going to be ruined if they don’t help. So, they’re helping their future.
Are there any Youth Ambassador projects you’re particularly proud of?
Bhavya : So I went on to the climate crisis [strike]On March 19, I met with the Confront The Climate Crisis children. A few weeks later, I and the Youth Ambassadors wrote a letter to Governor Holcomb in which we stated that we had reached agreement with them and that we would meet up with them.
Youth Ambassadors have a responsibility to educate others about the climate crisis. What guidance do you have?
Bhavya: Earth Charter has introduced me to many new climate activists, so I made environmental workshops, I’ve worked with the Helping Ninjas, I’ve been to tree plantings, and all that Earth Charter Indiana has introduced me to. Youth Ambassadors has been in existence since December. We had a grand opening just a few months ago. I met many other activists there, and I gained contacts for many other City Council members, so that I can share my work to many more people. I also watched the “I Am Greta” film there and learned about Fridays for Future. We worked with Earth Charter Indiana on Earth Day [at the Earth Day Indiana Festival, at Garfield Park]. We made a game. [With]We asked people to arrange the meats & vegetables. [of carbon footprint]So I could see how much they actually know about climate change. I found out that not many people are aware that meat is harmful to climate change. Not a lot of people know that what they’re eating is bad.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Bhavya : My favorite part of going to the statehouse was with CtCC. I love meeting with them and talking to them about what they did to get this far, so that’s probably been my favorite.
Bhavya’s mother: To us, every voice counts, whether you’re making a small impact or a big impact, every small effort counts. So that’s when, you know, Bhavya being the youngest in the crowd when she went to the environmental emergency [strike] among all the high schoolers, and she did the speech about the climate crisis, and with her example of, “Do you want to be the person who sits on the couch and eats pizza all day, or do you want to eat pizza later and get up to help climate change?” [that shows] every small, little voice counts.
Are there any lessons that you’ve learned?
Bhavya: I’ve learned that some people, even though you’ve told them a lot about climate change, they still won’t listen to you, but you just have to move on and keep going to more people. More people will make one person say “yes”.
Are there any projects you are still interested in?
Bhavya: I’ve made my letter to my state representative, so we’re trying to send it to him so that I can meet with him to talk to him about climate change, so he can make Indiana the first state to [declare] a climate emergency.
The Youth Ambassadors are taking a critical stance on climate. They fill an important gap in Earth Charter Indiana’s efforts because the organization has programs for very young students, programs for high school-age students, and it is important that kids don’t just stop working to combat climate change in between. This important cause is open to anyone aged 10 and under.
Contact Tatjana at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the team.
This story was originally published by The U Post of University High School.