At 19 Sampath is a very unlikely candidate for an activist. He appears to be shy, quiet and meek, but that is where he surprises us. When he starts to speak about his cause, his passion for the environment, and wisdom in tackling the problem override his age, and almost instantly we are rapt in the conversation. His community service and volunteering instincts are developed early on.
Sampath is a young man from a Vishakapatnam business family. He is studying civil engineering but has also decided to get involved in activism. He is passionate about issues plaguing the environment and instead of taking a back seat, he decided to do something/anything. So many atrocities are being carried on against nature like illegal mining, unabashed hacking of mangroves, unregulated construction and many such unethical and unchecked assaults. It is easy to get angry and lose perspective, but here is where Sampath surprises us. He believes in spreading the information not the anger. For this reason, he has joined 'Fridays For Future'. which organises peaceful strikes and marches to protest against various environmental issues.
Since the age of 13, Sampath would watch the news with his father. That’s when his interest in social and national causes was piqued. By the time he was 16, he was devouring newspapers for such relevant articles. Slowly his interest swayed towards the environment and concerns that threatened the environment. He realised that sometimes the mainstream media didn’t cover the important news stories which would allow the people to know the truth. These stories would enable them to raise concern and take action against the wrongdoings. This is Sampath’s way of participating in Community Services.
As a media-savvy young man, he realised that he has the platform to inform and educate at his disposal, and therefore volunteered to launch his own Youtube channel called ‘INDIA UNCOVERED’. where he has recently put out a report covering the illegal hacking of the Kakinada mangrove forest in Andhra Pradesh for the construction of a government proposed housing scheme for poor. He reported that despite a stay by the National Green Tribunal, almost 145 hectares of mangrove forest was hacked down. This destruction was taking place despite the lockdown.
Though the channel is still in its nascent stages, it is inspiring to see young people use their tech-savviness for a social cause. His desire is to be seen as a non-politically motivated individual, working solely with the intention to serve the environment. Which is evident from his disclaimer that he puts on his Youtube reportage page. Disclaimer: I did the video with the available information, I have no intention to politicise the issue. All I care about is about the environment. I am a politically neutral person, I respect the democratic values of our country. I strongly condemn the spread of hate.
Sampath has always been a topper in academics, that could be the reason, or perhaps the fact that he is socially driven is what makes him different. Most young people his age are keen to have fun and enjoy life, perhaps they don’t identify with someone like him. That may be the reason that he doesn’t have too many of his college mates joining him, but that has never bothered him. He knows there are many people out there who feel as passionately for his cause as he does, and with the help of his Youtube channel and other activities he hopes to gather a tribe of like-minded people to join in.
He acknowledges the power of the youth. His vision for the world is a world where the youth take up relevant current causes, because he rightly believes that time and energy are on their side. Youth are less pessimistic and will bring a new solution to an old problem. If they find their passion early on then the fresh perspective and impetus that they bring is invaluable. Our country today has one of the world’s youngest populations, their energy is like an arrow waiting to be shot, but focus and determination are more important than ever before.
Sampath has a long road ahead of him, He still hasn’t begun his life outside the educational system. He has the pressure on him to do well, earn money, make a life for himself. He has just begun his journey, and though he still has to make a mark for himself, it is heartening to see that the sentiment to make a difference is thriving within him. It is our job as citizens to encourage youth like him to carry on with the enormous task that they are setting out to do. And we hope that sharing stories of young people like Sampath inspire more youth to get involved. Even though they didn’t cause all the problems that they are being asked to deal with, they will be the inheritors of this world. we hope that they make it better than they were given.
His concern on matters of social importance ranging from environment to governance at this young age impressed us at Giving Circle to present the case to a larger reading audience. You can reach out to Sampath through us. If you come across such budding activists or even people who have been involved in small projects of charity or activism, send in their story at Report Goodness. Every once in a while these heroes need to be acknowledged and supported with garnering like minded people.