Debating Tournament

Arc Foundation organised Climate Change Conference on the theme of ‘Gandhi and Environment- His Concepts and their relevance today’ on 20 th June, 2019 at AMA,Vastrapur, Ahmedabad in collaboration with Climate Change Department, Government of Gujrat and ARC-A Responsible Citizen Foundation. The world environment day of 2019 corresponds to the year with the 150th Birth Anniversary year of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

This conference aimed at reflecting on the impact of climate change on environment, highlighting measures to mitigate/reduce the impact of climate change at individual, community, state and national level by bringing together various stakeholders from different segments such as private agencies, government bodies and citizens on a common platform to share their views and have a meaningful discussion about it.

The conference had the intent to highlight the relevance of the Gandhian approach in today’s context where there are huge debates around economic considerations and environment degradation and the future of our planet.

The Chief Guest of the conference was Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, Centre for Environment Education. Kartikeya Vikram Sarabhai is one of the world's leading environmental educators and a dedicated community builder. He is the founder and director of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), a national institution engaged in promoting environmental awareness and conservation as well as education for sustainable development.

A Special address was given at the conference by Shri Atul Pandya, Director, Gandhi Ashram. Atul Pandya, former programme director of Rural Programmes Group at city-based Centre for Environment Education (CEE), and present director of the trust at Sabarmati Ashram. Atul Pandya was raised in a Gandhian household. He studied at Lokbharti Gramvidyapith, an educational institute built on Gandhian values in Sanosara village near Bhavnagar, and was engaged as academic director of its rural institutes of higher education.

Our speaker panel consisted of 20 highly esteemed members, who are some of the most important names in the environment sector of our country- Pratik Kumar, Director, Arc Foundation, Wing Commander Dharmendra Sharma, Founding Trustee, ARC Foundation, Dr Vimal Gandhi, Professor, Chemical Engineering Dept, Dharmsinh Desai University, Narayan Gopinathan, Researcher, University of British Colombia, And many more. These prominent personalities shared their experiences of work at village, national, international level and in academia.

Welcome address by Wing Commander Dharmendra Sharma, Founding Trustee, ARC Foundation with opening Remarks by Shri Pratik Kumar, Director, Arc Foundation. A Special address was given by Shri Atul Pandya, Director, Gandhi Ashram and Dr R A Khimani, Registrar, Gujarat Vidyapith. Keynote address was presented by CHIEF GUEST Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director, Centre for Environment Education on Gandhian Concepts on Care for Environment and Sustainable Development. The conference participants had engagement with Radio One FM RJs after which the tea was served.

A Panel discussion on State of the Environment and the Challenges we face Climate Change and Sustainable Development was conducted. The Moderator of the discussion was - Mr Shwetal Shah, Technical Advisor, Climate Change Department and the Panellist’s were- Ms. Mudita Vidrohi, Programme Co-ordinator, Gujarat Loksamiti, Mr. Mahesh Pandya, Director, Paryavaran Mitra, Dr Suneet Dabke, Composting Expert, Concept Bio Tech, Vadodara, Mr. V. K. Singh, Head Environment (Retd.) Coal India Ltd. , and Mr. Narayan Gopinath, Researcher, Univ. of British Columbia.

The zest of the discussion was that It is high time to cater to the environmental problems as we have are experiencing the things which were never part of our previous generations like extreme climate temperatures, lowest level of ground water, air pollution mark has gone to extreme hazardous level and many more. If not taken care of, we will leave nothing but a deadly environment to our future generation. Hence it has become utmost important to talk about the issue and then implement the solutions on the ground.

After lunch break, the discussion on Climate Change and Sustainable Development took place with Dr. Megha Bhatt, Founder SciKnowTech as Moderator and Dr Vimal Gandhi, Associate Professor, Dharmsinh Desai University, Mr. Jaichander Swaminathan, IIT Gandhinagar, Mr. Alzubair Saiyed, Innovator and Solar Expert, Mr. Kanishk Bhatt, Green Building Architect as panellists.

The outline of all the discussion was that even if we all wake up now to the alarming reality of the climate change then things can improve steadily but surely. All the stakeholders (Government, NGO’s, Private sector and Public) will have to work hand in hand with a single aim of working toward sustainable development.

At the end Stories from the Ground – Solutions that Work were discussed in details by Mr. Himanshu Patel, ex-Sarpanch, Punsari, Ms. Lima Rosalind, Director, Green Future Foundation, Ms. Arjun Thakkar & Mr. Yash Bhatt, Brook & Blooms, and Mr. Nishank Shah, Duro Green.

The conference saw participation of youth and practitioners from across the country with an audience of 300 people from institutions like Gujarat Technical University, St. Xaviers, Ahmadabad Municipal Corporation and others. The audience consisted of students from school up to senior citizens. The topics of discussion covered not just what people can do in their own life but also inspiring stories from the ground.

We are extremely grateful with the response of the conference and the mark that it has left with some realistic solutions on environment in lines with Gandhian ideology.

event details

date: 20 June 2019

time: 10:00 AM-4:00PM

event categories: Climate Change conversation


location:AMA, ATIRA Campus,
Dr Vikram Sarabhai Marg,
University Area, Ahmedabad,
Gujarat 380015