Shimla’s eco-hero saves Mumbai lake

Shimla’s eco-hero saves Mumbai lake

Ayaan Shankta won the International Young Eco-Hero Award, 2021.

Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 9

A 13-year-old Shimla boy, who lives in Mumbai, has received the prestigious International Young Eco-Hero Award, 2021.

The Action for Nature, an NGO, based in San Francisco, hands out the awards annually to youngsters (8-16 age group) from across the globe for taking action to improve environment.

Honoured by US NGO

  • The Action for Nature, an NGO, based in San Francisco, hands out the awards annually to youngsters (8-16 age group) from across the globe for taking action to improve environment
  • Ayaan Shankta, a Class VIII student, has won the third prize in the climate change activist category for his project ‘Conservation and Rehabilitation of Powai Lake’ in Mumbai

Ayaan Shankta, a Class VIII student, has won the third prize in the climate change activist category for his project “Conservation and Rehabilitation of Powai Lake” in Mumbai. Overall, 25 children in the 8-14 and 15-16 age groups have been honoured for their environamental achievements by the NGO this year.

It’s a big recognition indeed for the 13-year-old. No wonder, the parents and the child himself are elated. “We are absolutely thrilled. As parents, we provided him the support and encouragement he needed, rest it is all his hard work and dedication,” said his father Puneet Shankta, a commercial pilot and former Navy officer. He hails from Kotkhai in Shimla and moved to Mumbai after joining the Navy.

“I am very happy, it was such a surprise for me when I won the prize, I did not expect at all to win a prize at this level,” said Ayaan. He, however, is no stranger to wining big prizes. For his research and report on the conservation and rehabilitation of Powai Lake, he won a gold medal at the Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Competition a while back. “The medal gave him a huge boost, making him even more serious about his endeavour, resulting in international recognition,” said the proud father.

Ayaan was 10-year-old when he got concerned about the deteriorating condition of the lake. “My parents would often take me to the lake. Initially, it was clean and beautiful. Gradually, it started deteriorating. I felt I needed to do something about it and got down and did my research for six months and then wrote an action report on how to save the lake,” said Ayaan.

It was this report and his several other initiatives he took in association with other NGOs working towards the same goal that made him one of the only 25 global winners of the Young Eco-Hero Award.

The youngster has grand plans to inform, educate and make people care for environment. “I intend to make a documentary on the lake and start an NGO for making our environment better,” said Ayaan.

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