Chloe Fletcher
21 July 2017

The IES gains its two youngest ever members

Last November, the IES welcomed aboard its two youngest members, two sisters, Sudiksha Kaushik (17) and Gauravi Kaushik (11). The pair have demonstrated a strong passion for conservation by pioneering a number of environmental initiatives at their school in Jaipur, India, and stating: “Reading and preaching about conservation is not enough. We have to act, and act now.”

As a result, in 2013, Sudiksha and Gauravi created R4 - Our Fore Vision, a project focused on the reduction, reuse, recycling and restoration of waste at community level. Initially managing this project between themselves, the pair have now developed a network of 200 volunteers, and attracted over 650 followers on Facebook (you can follow them here).

Since its conception, R4 has been involved in waste management projects throughout Jaipur. For the last two years, the team have united with organisers of the city’s largest marathon event, the Jaipur Marathon, to manage the collection, disposal and recycling of its waste. In 2016, R4 collaborated with the city’s biggest theatre festival, Jairangam, to deliver educational talks on the importance of sustainable waste management. Since 2013, the girls have carried out an annual e-waste collection drive at their school, ensuring appropriate disposal of electronic waste in tandem with the recycling organisation, ETCO.

For the last two years, the group have coordinated the collection of old books, school bags, shoes and clothes to be re-distributed to underprivileged children, identified through links with various NGOs including Naya Sawera, Akshar, and Twinkling Stars. They have also organised drawing competitions and quizzes within their residential society to promote awareness of environmental challenges, particularly among children.

Additionally, both sisters have demonstrated a strong commitment to developing environmental solutions through their social enterprise, Golden Pot, a low-cost composter built from recycled pots. This business model has earned Gauravi a first-place position in the city-level competition, Mahi Roj, for the ‘Student Design Challenge’, in celebration of Earth Day. Similarly, Sudiksha was awarded second prize for her ‘Environment Friendly Business Model’ in an inter-school competition. Subsequently, Golden Pot was distributed to residents within their own high-rise apartment complex, encouraging inhabitants to make their own compost from domestic, organic waste. Furthermore, Sudiksha has been awarded ‘Environmentalist of the Year’ at her school for two consecutive years, leading her to assume the major role of ‘Go Green Head Girl’. Currently, she is attending a fully-funded one-month entrepreneurship placement at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA.

This month, Sudiksha and Gauravi have successfully registered R4 - Our Fore Vision as an NGO through the Government’s Devsthan Department. Whilst both are Founders of the organisation, they will not be able to join the Board of Trustees until they turn 18 years old.

We are very pleased to welcome them both as Affiliate members and look forward to seeing the impact that these two rising stars will have on the environmental field.