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We need collective intelligence to fight climate change: Miss Climate 2019

Dec 25, 2019

What we do to nature is nothing but a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves, believes Shwetha Rao, Miss Climate 2019.

Shwetha Rao , 23 year-old-girl from Mangaluru, Karnataka, was crowned as Miss Climate -2019. In an interview to OneWorld South Asia, Shwetha expressed her desire for building a collective intelligence in the society for combating climate change. Excerpts from the interview:

OneWorld South Asia: What inspired you to compete for the Miss Climate 2019 contest?

Shwetha Rao: The vision that the organisers of Miss Climate 2019 have for the world and the plan that they had for the winner inspired me to compete in Miss Climate 2019.

Green Mentors, the organizing company, aims to bring the power of nature into education through its global green schooling concept worldwide. They envision the winner of Miss Climate 2019 serving as the global ambassador of climate change.

I have always wanted to be connected to the side in me that wants to fulfil her social responsibility, despite working as an assistant manager in an MNC. This came as a perfect platform to live my dream.

OWSA: What made you confident of contesting the Miss Climate crown competition?

Shwetha: My confidence comes from my parents and my mentors. My mother instilled that sense of confidence in me by giving me complete support to participate in various competitions and voice my opinions since my childhood.

I was blessed to have the support of various mentors during my growing years in Mangalore, who have shaped my personality. Prof. Maria Phyllis D’costa polished my communication skills and taught me the value of positive thinking. My teachers trusted me with many responsibilities during my engineering that boosted my confidence.

My liberal arts education in Ashoka University empowered my mind with knowledge from different domains, relevant to the present time. All my professors and teachers during my academic life have played a crucial role in shaping my personality.

OWSA: When did you first get to know about the crisis known as Climate change?

Shwetha: I came to know about the climate crisis at a very young age, when it was still called Climate change.

As a child, I would deliver speeches on World Environment Day and Vanamahotsava, about the need to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and take active measures to protect our environment.

OWSA: As a climate change ambassador, how would you help in spreading awareness among people?

Shwetha: As a climate change ambassador, I would like to first work on my Climate Action Plan for the coming year in consultation with Green Mentors. I aim to effectively use my technical and liberal arts education in combination with my experience on ground to come up with a holistic action plan that enables me to live up to my title.

I envision implementing an application that empowers people to take informed actions and minimise their impact on the environment. I will voice out my message of ecological intelligence in every platform, to build a collective intelligence in the society that constantly strives to minimise their carbon footprint and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

OWSA: What according to you is the most visible threat related to climate change?

Shwetha: The most visible threat related to climate change is that although mounting scientific evidence has led experts to conclude that climate change is the biggest health risk of the 21st century, very few people give thought to how their actions impact the environment.

We forget to internalise the fact that what we do to nature is nothing but a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves.

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