India: Climate activist blogger hopes Antarctic voyage will inspire countless others like her

The Statesman
Saanya Bhandari Jain

A Delhi girl and travel blogger, Saanya Bhandari Jain is one of the youngest women who would represent India on a global platform as she has been chosen for the 2041 ClimateForce expedition to Antarctica as a global ambassador.

In a few months’ time, the 22-year-old entrepreneur will be sailing with a diverse 80-person team comprising citizens from every continent, united in a common mission to benefit our home planet. The expedition will be led by polar explorer and sustainability champion Robert Swan O.B.E. — the first person to trek to both of Earth’s poles. The “carbon-negative” expedition aims to inspire, develop, and train the next generation of leaders to promote a more sustainable future and spread awareness on climate change.

It was in the winter of 2020 that Saanya began her research about Antarctica and realized how the effects of climate change over the years have become more apparent on the continent, which includes melting of the glaciers and ice shelves such as Larsen B. She had penned a letter to Sir Robert Swan. Deeply impressed with her work, he told her that her letter was hope in itself and she needs to inspire the youth of India.

Saanya is a graduate in Liberal Arts and Humanities and has been passionate about travelling, sustainability, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. She has headed several impact projects, done extensive research, and published multiple papers across esteemed platforms and conferences in India and abroad on sustainability, minimizing hunger and food wastage, and assessing biodiversity to decrease carbon footprint.

She said: “I aim to use adventure and travel as a means to preserve the Earth — so that generations later, people are still able to witness the beauty of this magnificent planet. I hope to walk away enriched with a newfound drive and compassion towards making a difference.”