I’m Tamanna Sengupta, an environmentalist and a bit of a science nerd. I’m grateful to be a professional in the field and cause I am passionate about – climate justice. My journey began as a volunteer with youth movements like Fridays For Future India, eventually evolving into opportunities to work with organisations like Greenpeace India, Haiyya and Asar for various climate-related causes. When I’m not playing with data and penning down my thoughts about climate change, you’ll find me annoying my pets, reading a book or taking pictures of clouds.
What are you doing?
I have been fortunate to learn a lot by working for projects on sustainable mobility, organic farming, extreme weather events, air pollution and demanding changes in policies such as the EIA Draft 2020. I am also involved with youth groups across Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, guiding them in environmental campaign development and execution. Although my work involves diverse tasks such as field research, data analysis, communications, content creation and campaign strategy, my core focus through all of it is on simplifying climate change.
Why are you doing this?
Being a science student throughout my education, I have always found scientific language fairly exclusionary. A crisis as global as climate change requires expansive, scientifically accurate studies to improve our understanding of how to tackle it. However, a crisis this global also affects people across the world and our socioeconomic and cultural inequalities mean that some people are worse off than others. If these people do not understand the urgency of the climate crisis and how it impacts their daily lives, they will not be able to effectively mobilize and demand better climate action and resilience moves from authorities. My approach to simplifying climate science is an effort to break out of scientific language and reach a more diverse audience.
When did you begin?
Although I began volunteering in the climate space in 2019, it wasn’t until 2020 that I understood the importance of breaking free from the jargon in climate communication.
How did you begin?
I began to post short simplified snippets of environmental research and news updates on my social media profile. To my surprise, it quickly gained popularity and I began getting requests from people to post about specific articles and headlines. Eventually, I started receiving contracts from organisations to simplify climate content for their audience and that is how I landed at Greenpeace in 2021.
What has been the impact?
The most obvious impact I’ve seen from my work is an increase in interest in non-doomsday climate content. I have been told that my approach encourages an understanding of crises such as deadly heatwaves, instead of a negative update on death and destruction caused by them. The impact is more visible when my work with larger organizations comes into focus, with a steady increase in engagement and allies – primarily attributed to the content being informative while being funny and hopeful, instead of a dismal.
What I am most proud of is the way the groups I have mentored, have launched and taken forward their own environmental campaigns, with a clear understanding of the need for education, empathy and inclusivity for climate justice.
Where can one know more about your work?
For simplified science content and occasional pictures of sunsets: https://www.instagram.com/itsametamanna/
For professional updates and communication: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamanna-sengupta/
Can you share a list of the green books on your bookshelf, for young people interested in environmentalism?
- The Heartbeat of Trees: Peter Wohlleben
- Unearthed: An Environmental History of India: Meghaa Gupta
- A Cloud Called Bhura: Bijal V
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Robin Wall Kimmerer
- The Fog: Kyo Maclear
- This Is Not A Drill: Extinction Rebellion