Pune: Avni Awasthee from Pune is gearing up for a special journey, that many only dream of undertaking. The 21-year-old from Pune is preparing for her second expedition to Antarctica, the coldest continent on earth housing the South Pole, beginning from February 24.
During her previous expedition to Antarctica, she had achieved the feat of becoming the youngest Indian girl to complete at 18 years of age in March 2016. She was a part of the select few from all over the world to explore the continent and understand the ill-effects of global warming. Her mission to experience it first-hand has helped her spread the message of using eco-friendly methods in everyday life to save mother earth.
Incidentally, in 2014, another Pune girl, Zarren Cheema, who was 18, was selected for this expedition to Antarctica and undertook it when she was 19.
Global warming effects
Recalling the 20-day expedition, Awasthee said she was among 143 selected from 30 nations, which included 19 Indians. The expedition was organised by the US-based 2041 Foundation under the leadership of veteran polar explorer and British environmentalist Robert Swan. The expeditions main objective was to study the impact of climate change due to global warming for promoting renewable energy sources, sustainability and preserve the earth’s fragile ecosystem.
Awasthee further explains how they travelled by ship from Argentina to Antarctica and stayed onboard for 20 days. "Only for 6-7 hours, we travelled by boats to experience the problems of Antarctica. I saw huge icebergs were melting, even some were breaking down. Also, we saw due to global warming the wildlife of Antarctica were endangered. We saw a massive crack at the 1,000-foot-thick, Delaware-sized iceberg that is getting ready to break off of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf," she said.
- Awasthee, a student of Vidya Valley School, Sus village, had won an award for her video on "How you can make tetra pack recycling campaign fun" and "As a student how can you spread the word on melting Antartica and ways to stop it" in 2011.
- She was felicitated by Swan on receiving the third rank at national-level for both the videos and appointed as one of the student ambassadors for tetra pack recycling.
- Swan emailed her in 2016, informing that she was pre-selected for the expedition from 6,000 applicants.