Smt. Sulochana Das, Honourable Mayor, BMC Odisha flagged off a cycle ride and mass rally organised by SwitchON Foundation in partnership with NGO Prerna. 200 people participated in this cycle ride and mass rally which commenced from The Odisha State Bharat Scouts & Guides and ended at Ram Mandir in Bhubaneswar, to create environmental awareness and inspire Climate Action.
SwitchON Foundation also organised a Youth Citizens’ Jury to tackle Climate Change and map solutions for a Sustainable Future, in association with Socratus. This unique event was held at Gita Gobinda Sadan today in the presence of Dr. K. Murugesan, IFS, Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board, Odisha. To mark its 15th year, SwitchON Foundation has launched Move for Earth – a movement to celebrate and inspire climate action. The initiative aims to help build a smarter and brighter future for ourselves, our children, farmers and life on earth. The Move for Earth cycle yatra saw a Citizens’ Jury wherein a group of youth interacted with experts to deliberate and decide on the future course of climate action.
Dr. Murugesan IFS, Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board, Odisha expressed, “Odisha is highly vulnerable to the climate crisis. I am very happy that SwitchON Foundation has undertaken this initiative. This is the most important issue and will certainly complement the current efforts of the state government to build awareness and inspire them to take necessary actions. Best wishes to SwitchON Foundation for taking the initiative to inspire sustainable behaviour among the community.”
“It is a pleasure to inform that SwitchON Foundation is going to organise Move for Earth by way of cycle riding from Puri to Bolangir from 27th February to 4th March, 2023, to create awareness among the youth on environment and climate solutions. It will also inspire the farmers and youth of Odisha on various approaches to climate action. I wish this initiative all success,” expressed by Shri Prem Chandra Chaudhary, IAS, Director of Agriculture and Food Production Odisha.
The Citizens’ Jury was organised to empower people to actively participate in shaping their communities by leveraging the values of democratic decision making. Eminent speakers and experts shared their thoughts, suggestions and ideas in various sessions scheduled throughout the event. Through the course of this event, the jury heard from a range of expert witnesses, community leaders, and stakeholders, and engaged in deliberations to arrive at a decision for an inclusive and effective list of recommendations to climate change.
The focus throughout this endeavour was on including the collective voice and vision of communities who are already facing the brunt of climate challenges in their daily lives, and offering them a seat at the policy making table. Vinay Jaju, MD of SwitchON Foundation, began the Move for Earth campaign with a cycle yatra through Bengal. He will now be covering 500 kms across Odisha and connecting with thousands of farmers, women and youth to address issues related to clean air, sustainable mobility and agriculture, and renewable energy. The whole concept of Citizen Jury signifies participative democracy. As Socratus, we will continue to design such deliberative platforms where being part of the process, citizenship is a felt and an empowering journey. SwitchOn’s Move for Earth initiative sets a big milestone to surface climate issues for a public discourse and we continue to embark this journey together. Devjit Mittra, Director, Programs and Partnerships at Socratus Foundation for Collective Wisdom
The verdict of the Citizens’ Jury will be made public in a report that will be released to the community in the coming weeks. The report will provide a comprehensive overview of the jury’s findings and recommendations, and will be made available to local government officials, policymakers and community members.
Speaking on the occasion, Vinay Jaju, Managing Director, SwitchON Foundation said, “The Citizens’ Jury was an incredible opportunity for youth across Odisha to come together and make a difference in their community related to climate action. We were thrilled to see the level of engagement and participation from the youth and other stakeholders, and we believe their verdict will shape our activities related to the environment and it will be communicated to policy makers to accept and implement the jury’s collective recommendations.”
“We are committed to promote a greener ecosystem and greener environment as we congratulate SwitchON foundation for taking up this great initiative for the environment and awareness generation,” said Dr. Dilip Srichandan, Founder of Prerana NGO.