Akhilesh Anilkumar

No such thing as too many ideas when it comes to climate action

Akhilesh Anilkumar is a whirlwind of activity. Take a look at his journey so far. In 2018, his ‘Swap The Straw’ campaign pushed for the eradication of plastic straws through physical and policy-making interventions. In 2019, he co-founded the Bring Back Green Foundation. A passionate advocate of climate education, his draft environmental curriculum ideas were well-received by the Kerala government. He has organised various conferences on climate education and started developing a mobile app too. When exposed to the problems faced by coastal communities due to coastal erosion, he worked with the community and with various government agencies including the Kerala Excise Department, Kerala Institute of Local Administration, Fisheries Department and Harbour Engineering Department to conduct research and create new policies.

The work that Akhilesh is doing enhances India’s blue economy and preserves marine diversity, which is the aim of the new Draft Blue Economy policy created by the National Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2021, and works toward SDG 14 by conserving marine resources for sustainable development. Further, it led him to conceptualise and develop ‘Theeram’, a documentary series which focuses on the lives and livelihoods of Kerala’s coastal communities and how climate change and artificial constructions have negatively impacted them. Through his Foundation, he has also worked on waste management and sustainable menstruation products. Widening the scope further, his in-the-works climate start-up aims to develop circular and gender-neutral fashion.