Know from activist, what are the Challenges Towards Activism for change

Ishika Aggarwal
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yugma network

Anjali Dalmia, a young environment activist explains what are the challenges the activists faces


There are issues in society and there are activists out there who work to find solutions to these issues. They try to work out to find catalysts in the form of word, art, strikes, protest and movements which can essentially help speeded up the process of getting rid of those issues. These activists are the people who are outspoken about the ills in the society and take the lead to deal with these ills in every possible manner in their capacity.
In a recent conversation with a young environment activist, Anjali Dalmia, who is the Co-founder of the Yugma Network (pan-India youth initiative which works towards achieving ground-level environmental justice by contextualising the discourse through local languages.), The Project Amara (sustainable and equitable menstruation for all), and project PLANT: People’s Living Archive of Native Trees; Anjali Spoke about the challenges that the activists have been facing and here are the challenges that she has rightly pointed out.

1. The act of comparing oneself to other activist and not feeling whatever you are doing as enough

A lot of young activists feel overwhelmed with seeing the problems increasing and with that, they start feeling like they are not doing enough. They compare themselves with other activists and more of all, the feeling that they need to save and that they need to do it today, is a valid concern because there isn’t much time left, and it makes them feel overwhelmed and helpless. This definitely burns out the activists and affects them mentally.

Read more: Meet Anjali Dalmia, Student Activist and Founder of Yugma Network

2. Not knowing the right path and not having the proper guidance

Specifically for the environmental activists, there are different demands of different groups and there is certainly no right way which is just for all. If we say development is bad, we can’t forget that there are a lot of people who depend for their livelihood  on that very development that we are against. The right for one person can be the wrong or unjustified for the other. Environmentalism for one person could be very very different from the other. Not having the proper guidance, essentially is something the young people struggle with as they find themselves lost in the field despite being passionate about bringing a change.

3. Having a constant stream of news and knowing how things are going bad

You check out one issue and there are 10 more waiting to catch your eyeballs and you are unable to deal with any of it. This helplessness adds a lot to the anxiety and feeling that you are not doing enough which leads to burnouts.

4. Lack of Resources and Funds

Lack of resources and funds is a major problem. For field work or even to create awareness content, it takes a lot of time and energy, it takes a lot of effort and we barely have that kind of support. There are barely any funds and especially ethical funds. And when we are so passionate about these things, we can’t bear any unethical source funding it.

5. Fear of receiving hate on social media

A lot of young activists get hate on social media because they are misinterpreted or their ideas are not liked by the majority beside the fact that what the activists have been saying is right and important. Anjali said, “I myself have faced this issue when on one of my videos, people started commenting as “antinational” which is quite scary because at least in my eyes, I am trying to save this world from whatever small and big I can do.”

How to deal with it?

We often say, communication is the key, here also the same thing applies. Having more conversation, taking advice, and talking to people helps a lot. Along with that, taking care of ones own self. Ensuring the physical and mental well being of our own self. There is only a certain limit to which we can help others and for that also, we need to keep ourselves healthy, hence, taking that time off to restore one’s own energy is not wrong and is a requirement of one’s body.

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