Powai 1

Elsie Gabriel

Link: Planet Powai Online

One must have come across Elsie’s name often in ‘Planet Powai’ and M&P Plus. She is a resident of Powai, whose journey from a journalist to an environmental crusader has been fascinating. Yes, Elsie is a woman of substance in the true sense of the word. What makes her stand out today is the cause she now espouses of connecting the GenNext of the Eastern Suburbs to the resurgent topic of Environment.

Her recent initiative of rolling out the Young Environmentalists Programme(YEP) has taken-off well in bringing children to nature locations and imbibing a sense of eco-preservation in the impressionistic minds.

It is this aspect of familiarizing the children with nature walks, showing them the ills and pollution on ground, bringing out the balance of nature and man and above all instilling a feeling of appreciating nature’s gift in the flora and fauna diversity. Coupled with this she infuses lessons that will equip them to handle this perishable gift by god and oft-not-understood by us adults, so engrossed in the daily grind, that will prepare these youngsters to change the equation when they don roles in their mainstream of life someday.

It is this aspect of familiarizing the children with nature walks, showing them the ills and pollution on ground, bringing out the balance of nature and man and above all instilling a feeling of appreciating nature’s gift in the flora and fauna diversity. Coupled with this she infuses lessons that will equip them to handle this perishable gift by god and oft-not-understood by us adults, so engrossed in the daily grind, that will prepare these youngsters to change the equation when they don roles in their mainstream of life someday.

Elsie has been brought-up in Kolkata with her schooling from Loreto Convent. She moved to Mumbai in 1988 and graduated from Sophia College. She basically dons two roles one being a home-maker and carefully rations her time for her passion of environment running the YEP in between. A mother two children, she loves to cook for her husband Victor Ferns, once he is in Powai, who is often offshore. She is all praises of her spouse who is the rock-bed of her support.She fully endorses her cause and even accompanies her to her outdoor field station for kids’ nature and eco-walks and events, when in town.

Presently, Elsie is doing her studies in Environmental Law to learn more about means to help sustain nature in India. She is a worldwide avid traveler with a passion for discovering insights into various cultures and social traits that form the very basis of the social fabric of life, highly interest her. Her attachment and tryst with water, lakes, beaches and rivers have taken her to explore not only the Powai Lake but also the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, Lakes in LA, Malaysia, Mauritius, Switzerland, Holland, Nepal, Lakshwadeep and France besides numerous other water spots of the world. Her other passions are in area’s of adventure sports, photography, culinary delights, gardening and environment painting.

“The Powai Lake-A Rural Blessing In an Urban Setting”- is a pictorial and chronological book written by her, on the Powai Lake, aimed at exploring the history, geography and science of the Powai Lake with the aim to eventually bring it under the protection of the Ramsar Convention. With the onslaught of the Revival and beautification of the same by the present government, hopefully the illustrations and photographs of the Lake will remain an insight into what was and is the essence of the Powai Lake as it metamorphosis and arises from it’s numerous transitional stages.

Drawing inspiration from her childhood mentor Elsie says, “Yes, my childhood memories are filled with painting sessions near tree’s and ponds and outdoor nature spots. I will always be grateful to my childhood Guru -Brogan who painstakingly taught me patiently the art of spreading a message through one’s paintings, whether it was painting a bright sunny day or a dried up river! Through my paintings and writings I hope to bring about a greater awareness of the threats to the natural environment. I paint oceans and lakes from my personal travels all around the world too and bring together a wealth of knowledge through my paintings which depict flamingoes, birds, wetlands and mangroves and numerous subjects like deforestation, global warming among many environmental curriculum related topics.”

Her latest initiative, the Young Environmentalists Program has been her metamorphosis into an active environment-crusader of her heart-felt philosophy and passion. She has built up a formidable team at YEP consisting of Vivienne Chaudhary-mangroves crusader and secretary of YEP, V Appukutan-treasurer of YEP also a veteran of Powai and a past GIANTS president, Prof KC Sahu, a staunch environmentalist and an ex-IIT faculty member is an advisor to YEP.

She maintains this is just the beginning to impact local environment with her humble effort. She would like more people to join the movement and corporates too to come forward in this. It is the synergizing of local forces that will make the difference.

Surely, women of substance like Elsie inspire not only the young generation but reassure mankind’s faith in the womankind, who not only rocks the cradle and nurture human life, but she also becomes the preserver of Mother Earth in continuance of the entire human race by advocating her cause.

(She can be contacted at email – elsiegabriel@yahoo.com Website: http://elsiegabriel.com/)

 

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