Often people have a passion and sometimes they meet their inspiration. We met Sridevi at Virudhunagar, explaining tiny tots in the Kids Zone about optical illusion in Tamil. We understood nothing of the language, but if you see her, you will not need language to understand that she was one of those individuals whose support for bringing a change, for protecting the environment showed in her style of communication.
Since her childhood, she was interested in science and technology and growing up, she had the dream of doing something through which she could serve people. She visited the Science Express Biodiversity Special in 2014 and it gave her a push to pursue her dreams. She went to on to work in the environment field and this year, she volunteered on SECAS on all three days at Virudhunagar. She remembers studying in a Tamil medium government school and the difficulties she faced when people from various organizations from different parts of the country would come and speak to them in English or Hindi. Enthusiastic as they were, at times, the students felt as if they could have learned more if they knew the language and among them was little Sridevi. She says the seeds for love of this earth had been sown when she was a child.
Determined to help, Sridevi decided that the kids of her state would not suffer similar fate; she decided to volunteer for SECAS. On all three days, she woke up at 5 AM, traveled 1.5 hours changing by bus for the first half hour and by train the rest of the journey, to reach Virudhunagar on time. When asked whether she found it tiring, she said if you have the drive to do it, you don’t feel it. Truly, her fluent Tamil and pure intentions, helped kids gain so much more from their Kids Zone experience.
The first time she visited the train, she got a few badges that said ‘Nature protects if she is protected’. All but one were given away to people she wished to inspire; one, she kept. She wears it every day so it bears reminder to her duty towards Mother Nature. She reminds those who ask her about the badge, about their duty that many have seem to forgotten. It is always a delight to meet like-minded individuals like Sridevi. We know she will continue to be inspired by the little wonders of nature and she will inspire many more in her wake.
– SECAS Blog team: Reema Jaiswal, Nitin Tiwane and Guest member, Jigu; as written in appreciation of Sridevi.
(Sridevi worked with Tamilnadu Forest Dept. as a technical assistant for two years. She has been involved in environment education and awareness activities in many tribal regions. She visited the train for the first time in 2014 and has never missed it ever since. We cherish having such dedicated volunteers with us.)