Skip to content

Sindhuja Ayyagari,
Neuroscience major at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

“Lakshmi ma’am mentored my team and I in the Changemaker Challenge hosted by Inventure Academy in 2018. Under her guidance we were able to win 3rd place and received prize money for our project. Lakshmi Ma’am inspired me to think of different ways we could reduce our carbon footprint at my school and community in addition to supporting those who are trying to reduce carbon footprint.

Whenever there was a school event big or small she constantly thought of ways to reduce waste by using disposable cutlery that was biodegradable bought from a non profit organization that employs mentally challenged people. From working with Lakshmi Ma’am I was able to further understand how important and urgent the climate crisis is and how widespread the issue is. I was inspired by her creativity in problem-solving and being able to come up with practical solutions to reducing the carbon footprint. It was evident that her solutions to making our school events more sustainable we’re backed by a tremendous amount of research and knowledge.

The common misconception that paper cups are completely biodegradable was debunked by her when she explained how they are lined with wax and plastic. This extent of detail, dedication to consolidating correct information and stopping the spread of misinformation is rare to experience and is what challenged my friends and I to work harder in making our school events zero waste. She helped greatly with being able to communicate the importance of sustainability and environment conservation to people who were unfamiliar with it.

Under her guidance in the Changemaker Challenge hosted by Inventure Academy, my team and I were able to speak not only to my classmates and other students in my school about the importance of sustainability but also many people all over Bangalore through Radio Indigo. We took what we learned to other schools like Oakridge international school and encouraged them to invest in more sustainable practices at their school events as well.

Most importantly, I was awed by Lakshmi ma’am’s passion for change. She was not hesitant or afraid to ask for more and gather more help with regard to making a change towards a more sustainable lifestyle even if it is unconventional and has been never done before. At our sports day event, she insisted on not using any decorations that were not biodegradable which included balloons and tinsel. This was unconventional since our sports day inauguration always involves these types of decorations. However, we reduced our carbon footprint greatly that year. According to her, no request is too much or too big to ask when it comes to the fate of our planet. This is the kind of passion and ambition we need to see in our environmental conservationists so that they may inspire everyone, especially students like me to strive to be more sustainable.”