Guilt, Anxiety and Hope: The Lives of Young Climate Activists in India
Vijay Sehrawat, 27, a founding member of Youth For Climate India, spoke about how acquiring more knowledge on the climate crisis made him a bit "Too negative" for his family and friends. Mohini Singh, a Bangalore-based psychologist who has also worked with TINEB's volunteers, explained how the constant invalidation of work done by young climate activists adds to their mental health woes.
"In the Indian context, anxiety itself is not given weightage. While you're provided with support from loved ones when you go through a breakup or an academic failure, climate anxiety is not something everyone experiences, so you don't get any help," said Singh.
Disha Ravi, the Indian youth climate change activist, arrested in February 2021 for sharing an online toolkit that listed ways to support the Indian farmers' protests, finds solace in her climate community. Goyal's belief is seconded by Burhan Bhat, 23, a member of Climate Front India - a youth-led national organisation headquartered in Jammu - focused on creating awareness about climate change.
"It's been difficult to spread the word about climate change through social media. It's really challenging to convince people that climate change deserves attention, while they still need to fight for basics like economic empowerment and political rights," said Ohri.
"More than looks and a sense of humour, I see if they are interested in climate justice," said a 25-year-old climate activist, who preferred not to reveal their name.