It’s Earth Day once again, and for two years in a row, we haven’t been able to get out and plant trees or clean-up, or just celebrate our planet like many of us would like to do. Don’t fret! There is still plenty to do on Earth Day from the safety bubble of your home.
Jhatkaa.org specialises in mobilizing citizens to take collective democratic action using digital technology tools. In this listicle, we bring to you a few ways that you can contribute to a more effective Earth Day 2021 despite the pandemic.
We are arranging these in order of the amount of time and complexity that you are willing to give to the task.
Sign and grow petitions that are important to you
Time to sign and share a petition: 2 minutes
Signing and sharing petitions is a simple but powerful way to contribute to the environmental movement. When you sign a petition, you are helping a campaigner build a body of evidence that there is a large number of citizens concerned with a certain issue. Small campaigns, involving a local neighbourhood, can be successful with even 5,000 signatures; however, large campaigns that concern large numbers of trees and infrastructure may need anywhere between 10,000 and 80,000 signatures. Depending on the nature of the campaign, once the signature count reaches a certain size, the campaigner can now take the voices of the signees to the decision-maker.
Here are a few live campaigns that need immediate attention:
Save Hessaraghata Grasslands: https://act.jhatkaa.org/campaigns/save-the-last-remaining-grassland-of-bengaluru
Ask for more charging stations for Mumbai Electric Buses: https://act.jhatkaa.org/campaigns/charging-stations-in-all-27-depots
Learn how to file an RTI... and file one.
Time to learn how to file and to file an RTI: 2 hours
The Right to Information (RTI) is a powerful tool that is available to all citizens of India. It can be used to tackle personal problems, community challenges, or large scale social and environmental issues.
Examples of Personal Problems include taking action for Pending Income Tax returns, Delayed Passport/ Aadhar card/ IRCTC Refund, Copies of answer sheets, Property Documents like Occupancy Certificate/Completion Certificate and many more.
Examples of Community Challenges include Fixing potholes, any work with the local government school, conducting social audits of government projects, etc.
Large-scale Social and Environmental issues include demanding information on how budgets are allocated and spent, learning about what policies decisions are based on, and knowing how a particular government project or scheme was implemented, among others
Equip yourself with this powerful tool by learning how to file an RTI in less than 1 hour, by watching this tutorial video here by YouRTI.in
Once you have learnt how, you can go on to file the RTI at www.YouRTI.in . It is free of charge for most issues, with a nominal fee for more complex personal RTIs. The best part is that if you choose, your identity will remain anonymous and safe as YouRTI will operate on your behalf.
Help us map trees, garbage dump sites and garbage burning sites from wherever you are
Time to help us map: 2 hours per week for 6 months
There is plenty of digital work around mapping our green cover and the broken waste management system. You can help us from wherever you are, with simple data entry tasks, reporting about the environment around your house. You will receive all the training that is required to complete this task.
You can sign up as a volunteer here: http://bit.ly/YSVolLink
Jacob Cherian is Director of Engagement, Jhatkaa.org
Edited by Diya Koshy George Edited by Diya Koshy George
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)