13-year-old Aanya Soni from Gujarat is the only Indian to leave for the Antarctica Expedition 2018 and create awareness on climate change. An 8th grader in Ahmedabad, Aanya Soni is the youngest of all 80 members who have been selected from across the world for the South Pole expedition in 2018. This expedition is held every year aiming to motivate the selected participants to make communities aware of climate change and its adverse impact in their respective countries. Led by Robert Charles Swan, the ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition 2018 will take place from February 28 to March 12.
What inspired Ahmedabad-based Aanya Soni to join a global force of change is A1 Gore’s documentary titled An Inconvenience Truth, which put her in the mind of Robert Charles Swan, a leading advocate of the protection of Antarctica and renewable energy. The world’s first man to walk to the North Pole and the South Pole; Robert Swan is a polar explorer on the mission of promoting energy innovation. Since a 50-year treaty which prohibits any sort of exploration in the Antarctica will end in 2041, he started the 2041 Foundation to create a global force for preservation of the Antarctica beyond the treaty.
Tanisha Arora (another Indian girl), who was a member of the 2017 Antarctica expedition, is the other source of inspiration for Aanya Soni to have got selected for Robert Swan’s ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition 2018.
Aanya Soni is also a member of the Kids4aCause team which is committed towards environment. Since the formation, the Kids4aCause has been conducting waste recycling drives to save the environment from detrimental effects of mounting wastage levels. They sell recycled products to raise funds for various non-profit organizations like IMDAD during natural calamities. In 2016, the proceeds from the sale of recycled materials were donated to the National Indian Association for providing free textbooks to underprivileged girls of class 12, according to Aanya Soni.
Aanya Soni is also a budding environment activist in her school, Sahyadri. She, along with her classmates, does every possible bit to take care of the environment. They save electricity and paper. They do gardening and grow vegetables within the school boundaries. They share their textbooks and donate old ones to the needy. Aanya and her friends keep the school premises and surroundings clean and pollution free in every possible way. She believes that every little effort such as tree plantation, the least use of plastic, garbage segregation and recycling of household waste counts towards a greater cause.
Home is where Aanya’s love for the environment was sown just as charity begins at home. Her father is employed at Ecolibrium Energy, and he helps big and medium-size industries with sustainable energy. His work encouraged Aanya to develop affinity for the environment.
A resident of Ahmedabad, Aanya Sony is brimming with excitement about the ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition 2018. At the same time, she is a little worried about the unforeseen course of adventure in the South Pole. However, there is no looking back since she is eagerly looking forward to having all pleasant and unpleasant experiences that the expedition has in store for her.
The ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition 2018 will cost her INR 28, 00,000 or USD 43,000, out of which Aanya is falling short of INR 2 lakh. You can contribute to make this expedition happen to her here. On return from the expedition, Aanya Soni will be a mascot of Robert Swan’s 2041 Foundation and responsible for promoting environmental sustainability based on her observations and experiences in the expedition.