After Akshat was selected, his relatives and friends have been calling to him.
Hyderabad-based Akshat Thonangi is the only student from Telangana to be selected to participate in the Study of United States Institutes for Student Leaders (SUSI), a student exchange programme being organised by the United States Department of State.
The 20-year-old BA Mass Communication, Journalism and Political Science student from St Mary’s College, is all set to deliver a talk on global environmental issues at the University of Montana. Akshat, who is also the director of the NGO Street Cause’s Hyderabad Youth Assembly, is ecstatic. “Students from all over the world will be taking part in the programme. I’m one among the five from India. I had to first send the US Consulate General, Hyderabad details about myself and I was then called for a personal interview. I told them that I wanted to come up with solutions to issues that matter to the world. I think, if people from all countries come together, we can curb environmental issues,” says Akshat.
Global warming is one issue that concerns Akshat the most. “We must start using solar panels, LED and CFL lights, biogas plants and recyclable paper. These small changes will bring about a huge change. I’m researching about global environmental issues and preparing myself for the talk,” he says.
After Akshat was selected, his relatives and friends have been calling to him. “My parents and sister are happy and proud of me,” he says with a smile. Through the NGO that he is working for, Akshat goes to remote tribal areas in Telangana and provides people with LED lights, solar panels, portable lights that can be attached to the body and used at farms, briquettes (a substitute for firewood) and electricity poles. “Last week, we went to villages in Kamareddy and provided people with Sodium Hypochlorite solution that has solved drinking water problems in the area,” he says.