Staff Reporter –
SwitchON Foundation, Kolkata based award-winning not-for-profit entity, working across four major verticals – Clean Energy, Water, Climate Smart Agriculture, Skilling and Sustainable Cities, today launched the ‘Move for Earth’ movement to celebrate and inspire Climate Action with a purpose to build a smarter and brighter future for ourselves, our children, our farmers and life on earth. Vinay Jaju, co-founder of SwitchON Foundation will be cycling over 3,000 km across different states in East India including around 800km in Bengal and connecting with over 10,000 farmers, women and youth, the issues to be addressed are clean air and sustainable mobility, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy.
SwitchON Foundation, celebrating its 15 year anniversary announced the schedule of the six day Cycle Yatra across West Bengal as part of the ‘Move for Earth’ movement, which will engage Farmers, Youth, Government, Financiers, Technologists and Civil Society Organizations through its journey and offer solutions to community-specific issues related to water, soil, energy and clean air that are directly impacting the livelihood and health of citizens. This movement aims to unite and amplify the collective voice of Climate Champions, equip communities with key tools, resources, new age skills and create a networked ecosystem for them to be the ambassadors of change.
SwitchON Foundation, along with various partners, plans to host a series of activities in cities, towns and villages across different states of India apart from West Bengal to build resilience with future friendly skills, technologies and practices to mitigate the climate crisis our planet Earth faces.
Mr Vinay Jaju, co-founder SwitchON Foundation said,“In 2008, we, the founding team of SwitchON Foundation had set out on a bicycle ride from Kolkata to New Delhi. The ride inspired and sparked the impetus to a 15-year-journey of serving and strengthening communities through clean energy and other sustainable ways of living. Today, in the face of a devastating climate crisis we have decided to take on a similar ride to celebrate and inspire climate action. The Cycle Yatra will engage Farmers, Youth, Government, Financiers, Technologists and Civil Society Organisations”
Present at the occasion, Shri Suresh Kumar, IAS, Assistant Chief Secretary, Power Department, GoWB expressed, “Our best wishes to SwitchON Foundation on this important endeavour to encourage climate actions among masses. There is urgent need for this awareness and action to be taken. It will compliment the efforts of the work our department has undertaken to adopt Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles in the state. -Shri Suresh Kumar, IAS, Asst Chief Secretary, Dept of Power, GoWB.”
Commenting about the initiative, Prof (Dr) Saugata Roy, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha said, “West Bengal and the Eastern Indian states are among the most vulnerable states facing the Climate Crisis. The initiative is a great step toward mass awareness generation and it is an important step to highlight the urgency and needs for action among the masses.”
This initiative will encourage urgent climate action and facilitate purposeful events and activities that will range from skill development training, stakeholder meetings, seed festivals and buyer-seller meets, to handicraft fairs, millet and tech expos, street art and puppet shows. In each state the ride will conclude with a Citizens Jury for Earth in which small groups of farmers and urban youth will interact with experts and get involved in the process of making recommendations on our collective future, leveraging the values of democratic decision making.
The West Bengal leg of the Cycle Yatra will commence on February 6, 2023, from Kolkata and then pass through Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Burdwan, Durgapur, Asansol, Purulia and culminate in Bankura on February 11, 2023. Honorable Mayor Firhad Hakim shall be flagging off the Cycle Yatra from Kolkata on February 6, 2023.
SwitchON is urging the citizens to join the movement, by simply visiting www.MoveForEarth.in and sign up as a volunteer or partner, or join the ride and help switch on a climate conscious movement that holds the potential and promise to build a better future.