6 Homegrown NGOs And Collectives Working Towards A More Sustainable Future

Environmental NGOs
Environmental NGOsMukti

The planet is not just yours and mine. It belongs to the 8 billion people residing in it. Individual eco-conscious choices are important but there’s always more that can be accomplished if individual action is complemented with collective action. No great revolution was successful without the collective consciousness of the masses working together and the green revolution is no different. Whether the damage we have caused to our precious planet is irreversible or not, is a debate for another day but that shouldn't get in our way of trying to protect and undo the damages. Speaking of which here are six homegrown NGOs and collectives working tirelessly word environmental conservation and a sustainable future:

I. Mukti

Inhabitants of Sunderbans planting trees as a part of a program by Mukti
Inhabitants of Sunderbans planting trees as a part of a program by Mukti Mukti

Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring expanse of the Sunderbans in West Bengal, lies the largest sanctuary of mangrove forests in the world. The Sundarbans not only act as a shield from natural disasters but also protects the biodiversity and geological features of the region and sustain the livelihood of economically backward people living in the region. Here, Mukti, a tireless advocate for the region's holistic progress, stands as a vanguard for social upliftment, economic growth, and safeguarding the fragile ecological tapestry of the Sunderbans.

With an illustrious presence spanning nearly two decades, Mukti's unwavering commitment resonates through their multifaceted initiatives encompassing poverty alleviation, education, sustainable livelihoods, and preserving nature's bounties. Empathetically reaching out to approximately 40 communities ravaged by the menacing onslaught of environmental calamities like cyclones and the relentless erosion of land and sea, this wonderful organization strives to restore hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

To know more about Mukti, click here.

II. Janmitran Kalyan Samiti

School children participating in a Janmitran initiative
School children participating in a Janmitran initiative Janmitran Kalyan Samiti

Janmitran Kalyan Samiti literally translates to "friends of the people”. It emerged in 2002 as a beacon of community development, harmonizing the forces of governance and grassroots organizations. Through their visionary Wadi Development Program, in collaboration with the esteemed National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), this compassionate alliance has cultivated over 900 flourishing orchards, serving as the lifeline for tribal communities by fostering sustainable livelihoods and fulfilling their basic necessities.

The profound triumph of this endeavor lies in the metamorphosis of once barren lands, which erstwhile yielded meager crops, into fertile havens that now bestow upon the farmers a dignified and enhanced income. For nearly a decade, this extraordinary initiative has embraced the dual mantle of environmental guardianship and socio-economic progress, weaving an inseparable bond between nature and its custodians.

Moreover, their tireless efforts also include the NGO's Watershed Program which illuminates yet another facet of their profound dedication. This pioneering venture targets specific regions entrusted to their care, orchestrating a symphony of soil and water conservation activities. In synergy with their mission, they also devote themselves to empowering the local populace and tribal communities through capacity building and comprehensive training, equipping them with the tools to safeguard their natural heritage while carving out a sustainable future.

To know more about Janmitran Kalyan Samiti, click here.

III. Deepalaya

Children at a school supported by Deepalaya
Children at a school supported by DeepalayaDeepalaya

This esteemed Delhi-Based NGO radiates a profound commitment to environmental preservation, echoing far beyond the confines of urban life. With an unwavering focus on eco-conservation, sanitation, waste management, and comprehensive training, this organization spearheads a transformative wave, awakening societal consciousness to the urgent need for safeguarding our shared planet.

In a harmonious alliance with the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, their collaborative efforts transcend boundaries, embracing afforestation and a myriad of environment-centric activities, meticulously nurtured through the supporting arms of their educational institutions.

Born in the early days of 1979, Deepalaya took its first steps towards fostering self-reliance and empowering underprivileged children, liberating them from the shackles of societal constraints. Stretching its far-widening reach across multiple states, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttarakhand, this remarkable organization serves as a catalyst for change. It orchestrates captivating community outreach programs that magnify the importance of environmental conservation, championing the cause of protection and sustainable agriculture. Through their tireless endeavors, Deepalaya ignites the flame of environmental stewardship, inspiring individuals to embrace their roles as guardians of the Earth's splendor.

To know more about Deepalaya, click here.

IV. Vanashakti

Vanashakti members at work
Vanashakti members at workVanashakti

In the vibrant city of Mumbai, a visionary trio comprising Meenakshi Menon, Namita Roy Ghose, and Peter Armand Menon united their passions and aspirations in 2006 to give birth to Vanashakti—a nonprofit environmental NGO poised to ignite a green revolution. At the heart of Vanashakti's philosophy lies a profound recognition of the world's dichotomy, where one group unknowingly engenders environmental challenges while the other emerges as the beacon of solutions. With impassioned fervor, this remarkable organization beckons individuals to embrace the latter, urging them to become active participants in shaping a sustainable future.

Vanashakti assumes the mantle of an environmental protector, heralding the intrinsic connection between forests and human well-being. In their tireless pursuit, they assume the role of ardent messengers, disseminating public awareness and illuminating the vital role that forests play in nurturing our very existence.

The resolute mission of Vanashakti transcends rhetoric, manifested through tangible actions rooted in communication, community building, and transformative projects. With unwavering focus, they champion conservation efforts and propel environmental education into the forefront of collective consciousness. Furthermore, Vanashakti endeavors to uplift forest communities, whose lives are intricately interwoven with the delicate tapestry of nature's bounty, by fostering income generation opportunities that are harmoniously aligned with ecological preservation.

To know more about Vanashakti, click here.

V. Babul Films Society

Some members of the Babul Films Society
Some members of the Babul Films SocietyBabul Films Society

The Hyderbad-based Babul Films Society is a unique voice, transcending conventional boundaries to instill environmental consciousness, celebrate biodiversity, and advocate for sustainable development. Their medium of choice? The captivating realm of short videos, seamlessly interwoven with the power of social media and traditional advocacy methods. Harnessing the expressive power of independent filmmaking, this extraordinary organization crafts poignant narratives, illuminating the urgent need for environmental protection and championing the cause of sustainable development. Through their evocative short films, they weave a tapestry of awareness, stirring hearts and minds to step up and protect our precious planet.

Yet, the Babul Films Society's impact extends far beyond its own productions. Driven by a deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of collective action, they inspire individuals and organizations alike to follow in their footsteps and embark on their filmmaking journey. Offering invaluable guidance on ideation, concept development, scriptwriting, budgeting, shoot planning, packaging, and legal formalities, they nurture a new generation of "green" filmmakers, empowering them to translate their visions into impactful cinematic experiences.

In their unwavering commitment to cultivating environmental consciousness, the Babul Films Society also orchestrates contests, igniting the creative spirits of young and environmentally-conscious filmmakers. Through these platforms, they celebrate and amplify the voices of those who dare to tell compelling stories that intertwine humanity and nature, encouraging a collective reimagining of our relationship with the world around us.

To know more about Babul Films Society, click here.

VI. Jaladarsha Collective

L: A woman holding a Bengal Arum, an indigenous food grown and shared by the women's group of the COllective R: A publication by the Collective documenting their water preservation activities so far
L: A woman holding a Bengal Arum, an indigenous food grown and shared by the women's group of the COllective R: A publication by the Collective documenting their water preservation activities so farJaladarsha Collective

Jaladarsha Collective is a wonderful initiative operating in Kolkata and rural West Bengal. Although the organization is still in its nascent stage, it has done commendable work so far. Using community arts practice and action research, they have brought to light the environmental issues in West Bengal, particularly in the realm of water conservation. The organization has been responsible for mass-scale cleanups of several water bodies in and around the City of joy. Those clean-up drives are followed by cultural programs where multi-disciplinary performers and visual artists from across the city unite to perform and commemorate the occasions. The collective also promotes organic farming, cooking, art, and crafts by local tribal and gender-marginalized communities from rural West Bengal. The Collective’s philosophy is one of inclusion and following intersectional approaches to environmental initiatives.

To know more about Jaladarsha Collective, click here.