BENGALURU: Around a year and a half ago, Garvita Gulhati realised how impactful her experiences with empathy were as a child. Birthdays at orphanages, instead of the typical celebratory parties and strict rules for finishing every bite of food on her plate, are just a few examples of what the 21-year-old refers to as life-changing views.
An urge to bring about a similar mindset of empathy among children today gave way to a book that would do just that.
Now, her organisation called Why Waste? (which she founded at the age of 15), is launching a storybook, titled The Sustainability Stories, brings out stories aimed at young adults, written by young adults themselves. Most of the 13 stories in the book, written by four different authors, revolve around the theme of water conservation – topic close to Gulhati’s heart, and at the core of her organisation as well.
“We didn’t want to burden the readers with too much information. We hope these stories will help shape their mindset to adopt sustainability from a young age. Instilling conscious citizenship at a young age can be a powerful thing,” says the BTech student of PES University.
Though released on August 15, the book will see its official launch on October 10. The organisation is collaborating with Dialogues to host an online event for this, where stories from the book will be read out and performed by members of Piece Of Paper Productions and members of the improv comedy trio – The BisiBeleBois.
The book’s editor, Shruti Parthasarathy, says, “The stories adopt a fable-like format, where themes of water conservation and mindful use of resources is told through animal characters.” Explaining the idea behind having young adults pen these stories, she continues, “Why Waste is a youth-led organisation and there’s a strong belief that the youth can bring about a change.” The book, which has spent a two years in the making, is available on Amazon for Rs 250 and features stories penned by four authors, including those residing in India and USA.
Over the last summer, the organisation has also expanded to other countries like Oman, Dubai, USA, Mexico, South Africa and UK, by collaborating with volunteers or organisations there for different initiatives.
Gulhati has previously spoken to CE about the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) coming in support of her #GlassHalfFull campaign, where restaurant managers are requested to fill only half a glass of water unless otherwise requested by the customer.
“Now through these international collaborations, we’re looking to see if similar efforts can be undertaken elsewhere as well,” she says.