It is easy to love nature – who would not love a peaceful stream, or the smell of pine trees on a mountainside, or the breathtaking beauty of a tiger? But it is quite a different person who loves ‘nature’ enough to get their hands dirty for her.

Sutirtha Roy – Adopting small changes in her lifestyle for the planet.

A Master’s student in Zoology, specialising in Biodiversity & Ecosystem Function, Sutirtha Roy, 23, has been following the global sustainability movement since 2015. Five years later, in 2020, Sutirtha joined the WWF Volunteers group as part of the Tide Turners challenge. This time, she began to get her hands dirty for the cause. She took her role seriously – researching plastic consumption trends, discovering solutions to reduce them, and advising people in her home and neighbourhood.

“It makes me so happy to see people adopt small changes in their lifestyle. Small initiatives like composting, reducing food waste, making sustainable choices – and all because someone cared enough to talk earnestly about it!” says Sutirtha. She is right – all it takes is a few people, moving in the right direction, to turn the tide!

Irfan Hasieb – A budding citizen scientist.

And also moving in the right direction is Irfan Haseib. The 27-year-old lawyer has been a WWF Volunteer for almost a decade. In this role, Irfan has experienced nature closely, spending time in protected forest areas, and becoming a lifelong advocate for nature. “I learnt great life lessons, met inspiring people, and most importantly learnt to respect nature,” reflects Irfan. “I have developed a keen interest in enviro-legal issues, and I hope to make a real case for Nature.”

Nishand Venugopal – Blogging for nature.

Another advocate for Nature is Nishand Venugopal – but he makes his case through his beautifully crafted poems and prose. A volunteer with WWF India, he uses his experiences and insights to highlight nature’s beauty through his successful blog, Science Next Door. “I aim to encourage people to notice and observe the natural world around them – we can only preserve things that we know and love.” Nishand hopes to encourage more to become citizen scientists – ordinary people looking for meaning in the mundane.

Mukul Mukherjee – Clicking for conservation.

This philosophy would undoubtedly ‘click’ for Mukul Mukherjee! Mukul, 40, a consultant engineer with a large firm in Jharkhand, believed life was pretty sweet, but something was still missing. “I wanted to give back – for my life to have a larger purpose,” he musessays. In 2017, Mukul signed up to volunteer with WWF India as a wildlife photographer. His first project was photographing and studying the Golden langurs of Umananda. He even helped relocate some of the golden langurs. Mukul uses his excellent photography skills to give back to nature and raise awareness!

Volunteering is a powerful vessel to push for change. Across the globe, nature and climate change volunteerism is taking shape in large numbers. Witnessing such stellar individual actions taken by volunteers to protect our natural world gives us hope to build a world where humans and nature thrive.