Mumbai-based Vidhi Bubna (23) is the founder of Coral Warriors, an organisation set up in September 2021, that is providing diving enthusiasts with the chance to apply for India’s first and only diving grant.
As an advanced scuba diver herself, Vidhi says that witnessing coral damage in the Andaman Islands and the Maldives pushed her to take up this cause. “Marine pollution is a huge issue, which unfortunately does not even cross our minds,” says Vidhi to The Better India.
While diving in itself is a thrilling experience, Coral Warriors are looking for candidates who are passionate about learning about climate change.
“It’s important for us to find the right candidates for this grant. Once the grant period is over we expect the applicant to work on a project related to climate change and the environment. It could be activism based or even spreading awareness,” she says.
The selection process is rigorous and Vidhi says, “We want to ensure that we give this grant only to those applicants who are genuinely keen on making a difference. Once we shortlist the application we will also interview the applicant before we make the final decision.” So far, Coral Warriors has awarded the grant to four applicants.
“Each of the applicants who have been awarded the grant has had an enriching experience. It has strengthened their belief in working towards creating awareness about climate change. We have also seen each applicant come back feeling a deep sense of interest towards one particular species. For me it was the Brazilian guitarfish,” adds Vidhi.
Things To Know:
· Indian nationals above the age of 18 are eligible to apply for the grant.
· An interest in diving and climate change is a must.
· Applicants need not have undertaken any prior certification in diving.
· The grant is for a sum of Rs 70,000 and applicants can choose where they wish to pursue the certification from.
· This grant will be provided to those who wish to learn how to scuba dive and understand first-hand the severity of coral reef damage.
· There is no deadline to submit your application form.
· While the grant allows the applicant to choose their diving sites, some of the diving sites in India include Lakshadweep, Goa, Pondicherry and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
How to Apply:
· Applicants are required to email the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Full name, state of residence, contact details, email address and ID proof.
· Applicants are also required to answer the following questions:
– Why are you passionate about climate change? (200 words)
– Has climate change impacted you first-hand? How? (200 words)
– Why do you think you deserve to be awarded the grant? (200 words)
– What do you think makes your application different from other applicants? (200 words)
– Why do you need to be awarded the grant and how will it help you in the long run?
– A detailed 800-word essay about yourself and previous work you have done in the climate change sector.
– A 1,000-word proposal about how the diving course will help you and what you intend to do with it in the future.
· The selection committee has a total of eight members, all of whom are also founding members of Coral Warriors.
· Upon receiving the application, Vidhi goes through each one and narrows it down.
· Once done, the committee further sifts through the applications and picks those who move on to the next round.
· The applicants then are called for an interview.
To know more about Coral Warriors, click here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)
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