“We reap, what we sow” is an old proverb and the credit goes to the parents of a daughter, who is making India proud while staying abroad by leaving her marks (not footprints) on this earth through her passionate green actions.
This is an inspiring story of a 17 years old girl, Arushi Madan who has became a saviour of the environment at such a young age and is making a huge difference from her actions for more than 6 years.
She has made India proud by winning many laurels at national and international levels. Due to her passion for the environment she had been given the title of “Green Machine.” Many leading newspapers and magazines in UAE have featured her story calling her as ‘Green Machine’, ‘Inspirational Teen’, ‘Green Star of UAE’, ‘Green Champ’ etc.
She inspire others by organizing:
- positive environmental campaigns,
- awareness sessions,
- organizing environmental activities and sharing environmental values and achievements through print and social media.
“I am on a mission to inspire and empower more eco-warriors to get into action and lead us into greener future,” says Arushi. She campaigns at malls, supermarkets, labor camp, factories, Toastmasters club meetings etc.
She convey her message with a significant positive impact through the use of:
• Multimedia presentation (video, a short movie, advertisement).
• Awareness campaigns.
• Social media (Facebook, twitter, and Instagram).
• Volunteer work.
She plant trees, make tables from recycled tires, visit schools for Green Talk(sessions), persuade factories to recycle packing material, give motivational presentations to educate women, laborers and children. By organizing many environment events and campaigns, she mobilize youth to work towards environmental protection. By involving them, she had taught them environmental values which they will never forget. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” is what she believes in.
Resident of UAE since more than a decade, and currently undergoing Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University of Birmingham, UK, Arushi aspires to become an Electrical & Electronics Engineer to acquire skills, knowledge and expertise which she can utilize to work on energy projects & contribute to future CLEAN ENERGY WORLD.
Arushi told Discover Indians, “I aspire to play an important role in the future development of a sustainable world.” She further added “I want to study and explore various energy saving technologies and help build a better, smarter, greener and a high tech world.”
She told many instances to us,
Arushi told us that she involved so many people in the campaign “A Dose of Help” through which she collected more than 1000 medicines from 120 different types. These medicines were unused, not expired and would have been thrown to landfill spoiling the environment. She collected them and gave to Emirates Red Crescent (UAE) for the poor patients.
Believing in the saying “Man with words and no deeds is like a garden full of weeds”, she practice and preach. She work at the grassroots level to set an example for others to follow alike by her self -initiated projects “Waste segregation system “and “Energy Saving system” in her community.
She further told, “My “waste segregation system” set up in my building community is being widely used by all 66 families in my building community. It has contributed to proper segregation and management (recycling) of waste which has resulted in reduction of carbon emission and protection of environment. It also very well demonstrated to all the 66 families (in my building) that we need to make simple changes in our daily life style to be able to reduce & recycle waste and help protect environment.”
Through her Earth Hour campaign in India “Save Energy, Save Earth”, she had a positive impact where students learnt the true meaning of Earth hour, they learnt energy saving tips like “candle light dinner”, “LED lamps” etc. which they started practicing at home.
As President and mentor of the youth community group “Students for the Earth” and founder of “Ecoholics” and a supporter of “Save The Mother Earth” community, she involve members and their families in activities like Tree Plantation, Recycling, making best out of waste-which directly benefit the environment.
She visit schools and educate students about environment values like the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle) with the help of videos, quizzing, Environmental Games and Green Talk sessions. She demonstrate the concept of recycling by her self-made coffee tables from discarded tyres. She also visits various factories and summer camps to educate people. She had linked up many companies having non-working inventory – to recycling agencies.
She organizes educational trips to green sites like “The Change Initiative”, “DEWA building”, “Agricultural Box” to educate people about sustainability. She also write articles on environmental issues/values like recycling, waste management, frugality, energy efficiency etc in various national newspapers to inspire people to be eco-conscious.
She is trying to impact all segments of society as everyone is a stakeholder in environment, she believes. Besides spreading environment awareness among youth, she had also done the same for laborers and women through environment awareness session exclusively for them.
She believes in the saying “If you educate a man, you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a generation”, that’s why she regularly hold sessions and workshops exclusively for women from different segments (separately for working women & housewives). She had been able to educate the women especially who had no idea about what is happening globally on the environment front and with her session and workshop, those ladies are now inculcating environmental values at their homes, among their families.
Wherever she gets opportunity, she address people and promote environmental values like on the eve of Indian festival where Hindu married ladies gather for a ritual, she addressed 50 women and shared with them simple tips to save energy and reduce waste. She also linked them with recycling companies and the women, subsequently, started segregating waste and giving for recycling.
She believes that trees are the lungs and lifelines for our Mother Earth and hence supports /organises “Tree Plantation” on various occasions. She has been planting trees on her birthdays, her parents’ anniversaries, significant days like Earth Day, Environment Day, International Youth Day etc. She visits primary schools, carry saplings with her and plant them with young kids to involve them in tree plantation and to lay their green foundation.
She is promoting the idea of ‘Birthday Plantation’. “While we have many days to celebrate like Environment day, Earth Day etc. besides these everyone has their own very special day, that is our birthdays,” she adds.
Trees are one of the most efficient ways to combat climate change and global warming. “It would be a big positive move towards environment protection if we all, as a responsible inhabitant of this planet, start planting birthday trees and help promote this idea till it becomes the most trending thing,” she emphasises.
“World population is reaching 7 billion. Imagine, if each of us plant a tree on our birthday alone, this world will be much greener and purer with 7 billion more trees in a year. Imagine if parents plant a tree when their new child is born, take his picture with the tree every year on his birthday. This way watch the tree growing with your child and build a green future,” she adds.
“Change has to begin from us so whoever is reading it, make it a practice to plant a tree from your next birthday onwards and spread the word around till all 7 billion people of this world have at least one tree each,” says Arushi.
Her campaigns and efforts have been positively impacting the environment and influencing others in the youths and wider community.
She says that she had motivated her schoolmates to reduce their environmental footprint and even presented the same in her school awareness sessions, spreading awareness about reducing food waste & it’s harmful impacts on environment.
She had initiated drives in the school to collect “no longer to be used” books and stationary items from the students so that they don’t add to landfill but rather they are used for the poor and needy children.
She had made beautiful serving tables using discarded tyres and is using those tables at her home and also use them to demonstrate how recycling can turn waste items into beautiful, useful and economical stuff saving money as well as environment.
She has taught small factories in Industrial area to fold the cartons and collect them to be given for recycling and also visited food courts, cafes and malls and inspired them to keep collecting recyclables.
She had been able to link many students/their families with environment management companies and recycling agencies thus helping them in disposing their un-wanted inventory in an environmentally friendly manner.
By giving an environment awareness session at a big factory in India, She promoted environmental values to 450 employees and they carried the green message back to their families as well.
There are endless examples of her activities/projects that have not only directly impacted the environment in a positive manner but also transformed people’s attitude towards environment.
She is serving as:
- the Regional Environment Ambassador to the Middle East (appointed by Tunza Eco Generation-venture between UNEP and Samsung Engineering),
- the President and mentor of youth community group ‘Students for the Earth’ (registered under Earth Charter International Youth groups),
- Country incharge of ‘Green Dream Earth’ and Environment Ambassador by Bee’ah.
She was invited to represent the UAE at Global Youth Eco Leadership Summit at Seoul, South Korea. She was the youngest speaker in the first ‘International Women’s Peak Performance Summit’, the guest speaker in SEAA ceremony on World Environment Day 2015 and the special honorary speaker for Brainobrain.
Her eco habits like ‘Birthday Plantation’ and ‘alternate day candle light dinner’ is inspiring so many. “I urge global youth to shed away hesitations and don’t wait for others to initiate, have a “Let me” approach rather than “Why me,” she advocates.
Apart from academics, involve yourself in social and voluntary activities to improve the lives of others, to give back to society and to make this world a better place. Be the change you wish to see in the world. For e.g. if you find a place dirty, please don’t say “the place is dirty”. Rather, clean it and say “It was dirty” show others by examples and that’s what she is demonstrating.
Youth has immense potential to bring about a revolutionizing change, let’s use “Youth Power” and bring a positive change to the environment and to the world. Let’s leave our mark (not our footprint).”
Her efforts had won her many laurels, on national and international levels, listed here:
International Awards and Recognitions
- Won the “International Diana Award” –one of the most prestigious global award with the certificate signed by the then British Prime Minister Mr. David Cameron.
- Was invited and felicitated at Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi as well as British Council.
- Won International Young Eco Hero Award from US based “Action For Nature” in 2015 and was the only winner from UAE among 10 global winners.
- Honoured as High Achiever Youth by “Commonwealth Youth Council” and featured in “Commonwealth Young Achievers Book” published in 2015.
- Featured as inspirational “Hero” on “Kidsareheroes.org.”
- Member of “National Society of High School Scholars”, USA.
- Featured as inspirational teen on US based website inspiremykids.com.
- Won cash prize for achieving distinction and being the MIDDLE EAST TOPPER in TERI Green Olympiad Contest ( an exam on energy, environment and sustainable development) – accredited by Indian Ministry of Environment & conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
- Won the “Best (Environment) Ambassador” & “The Most inspiring Ambassador”award from Tunza Eco Generation (an initiative by UNEP & Samsung Engineering ) among more than 60 global ambassadors.
- Was invited to represent UAE in Global Youth Eco Leadership Summit at Seoul, South Korea in Feb 2014.
- Selected by “Women for Wildlife” as one of the 35 Global Women Visionaries and heroines of today’s world who are passionately devoted to a cause.
- Was interviewed and featured as “Climate Change Activist” by African journalist and member of International Youth Council and featured at Sustainability X published on 5th Feb 2016.
- Recognised and appreciated as South Asian who is making a mark in UAE –by Viacom 18 (owners of leading Indian TV channels-Colors and Rishtey).
- Honoured and featured as “NRI Achiever” by NRI café.
National Awards and Recognitions
- Won the most prestigious & UNESCO recognised “Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum award for Distinguished Student” in 2013.
- Won “Sharjah Award for Educational Excellence” in 2015.
- TWICE Won Ist Prize- Outstanding student in Sharjah Environment Awareness Award (SEAA) in 2014 & 2016 on World Environment Day.
- Won 2nd Best Scholar in World Scholar’s Cup 2014.
- Won Bosch Green energy efficient washing machine as award in Nov 2013 for winning “Green Star UAE” title for my environmental contributions & achievements.
- Won “Dunia Young Leaders Scholar” award as one of the only 20 winners. As an award, she got the scholarship worth 1 year school tution fees.
- Won Big Idea Amazing Star 2015.
Reading all her achievements, can you believe she is just 17?
Yes, she is proving again the saying “age has no bar” and with her efforts making India proud. We wish her more power for her enduring and passionate work. We are sure she will leave her marks (not footprints) on this planet and we wish her good luck in her journey.