BIS #7074 Youth Conference Featuring Young Eco-Activists Held at DB Matunga

By Mr Leander Pereira and Ms Marilyn Pereira for BISMumbai

The Youth Conference 2023, themed ‘Youth Eco-Activists for Justice and Peace’, was held at Don Bosco Campus, Matunga, on 24 September 2023. The event was hosted by Don Bosco Green Alliance, Greenline Mumbai and Don Bosco Youth Services, and saw 45 youngsters from all over Mumbai participating, united by the common goal of love for Mother Earth.

Father Savio Silveira, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bombay, discussed the concept of Integral Ecology, emphasising the interconnectedness of all ecosystems. He also touched upon Laudato Si, the Encyclical of Pope Francis, underlining the idea that issues of justice and peace have a direct impact on the natural environment. Following his address, he officially inaugurated the Youth Conference 2023.

A standout feature of the event was the direct interaction with influential young environmental leaders. Participants engaged in meaningful conversations asked questions, and shared their thoughts on urgent environmental concerns. The panel of speakers at the conference included a diverse group of individuals who shared their expertise and passion for environmental protection and social issues. Mr Yash Agrawal, an assistant professor of Philosophy, focused his talk on the significant impact of road construction in mountainous and rural areas on the environment. His deep commitment to environmental preservation shone through as he discussed the consequences of such development.

Ms Heeta Lakhani took the stage to discuss the dire effects of climate change on nature and its devastating consequences for wildlife, marine life, and local species. She highlighted the urgent need for action to mitigate these effects and protect our fragile ecosystems. Supporting her cause, journalist Mr Akshay Madavkar, who effectively utilizes social media as a platform for communication, emphasized the importance of disseminating the truth to the public and rallying support for environmental conservation.

Ms Manisha Dhinde shed light on the struggles faced by tribal communities, not only in Mumbai but also across India, when they revolt against the government to protect their habitats and way of life. Her presentation underscored the widespread challenges that these communities encounter in their quest for justice and preservation. The youngest member of the panel, fifteen-year-old Zidaan Castalino, delivered an inspiring message about taking proactive steps toward change. He encouraged everyone to actively contribute to the causes they believe in.

As a hands-on learning experience, a captivating scavenger hunt game was organized, encouraging participants to venture out into the campus and explore the diverse beauty of Mother Nature. This interactive activity not only allowed attendees to connect with the environment but also provided them with a deeper understanding of their surroundings.

The conference provided a platform for attendees to expand their understanding of environmental issues. The panel provided valuable insights into environmental protection, climate change, social justice, and personal responsibility. Each speaker brought a unique perspective and passion to the conference, leaving the audience inspired and motivated to make a positive difference in the world.