New Delhi: Through the principles of ‘Satyagraha’ and ‘non-violence,’ Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inspired thousands of people to become “Freedom Fighters.” They bravely led the freedom struggle movement against the might of the British Empire. It’s wonderful to see that, exactly 100 years later, another young Gujarati textile entrepreneur has adopted a similar strategy to prepare ‘Paryavaran Senani’ (Environmental Warriors) from Surat schools and colleges to combat Global Warming and Climate Change.
Meet Viral Desai, aka Greenman, who has launched a campaign against global warming and climate change through his ‘Satyagraha Against Pollution and Climate Change’ movement in Surat and has received the highest honours from the Governments of India and Gujarat.
Greenman Viral Desai and his NGO ‘Hearts At Work’ went above and beyond to plant over 3.5 lakh trees throughout the city and collaborated closely with the Indian Railways to achieve the record of transforming Surat’s Udhana Railway Station into the “First Green Railway Station in India, Asia, and the World.”
Draupadi Murmu, President of India, presented Viral Desai with the ‘National Energy Conservation Award’ in 2022 for his unparalleled contribution to pollution control and environmental protection in the textile industry. Viral Desai received the National Energy Conservation Award for the sixth time; previously, he accepted awards from three distinguished Indian Presidents.
Viral Desai is on the move in Surat and the entire south Gujarat region to educate the youth on environmental protection, interacting with them, making them aware of environmental protection, and inspiring them to become ‘Paryavaran Senani’ through his ‘Satyagraha Against Pollution and Climate Change’ movement.
“Mahatma Gandhiji and Sardar Patelji have given us an important lesson from their freedom struggle movement; any big problem is always fought by the collective efforts of the society or the nation, and those collective efforts should also be constructive and non-violent,” Viral Desai told to us. I was inspired by Mahatma and Sardar’s teachings and launched a satyagraha against pollution and climate change movement to achieve freedom from climate change, pollution, and global warming.”
Viral’s satyagraha against pollution and climate change is unique in that it teaches the young generation an important lesson: “Rather than worrying about what others are doing, we should keep our lifestyle eco-friendly and take initiatives towards environmental protection at our own level.”
The Satyagraha against pollution and climate change is guided by the ‘Triple A’ principle: awareness, attitude, and action. Viral Desai’s Triple-A principle in schools and colleges addresses issues such as energy conservation, water conservation, green energy, and biodiversity.
The Satyagraha against pollution and climate change movement has reached approximately 1,00,000 students from various schools and colleges in Surat and south Gujarat. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB) regional office in Surat has also joined the movement.