Birla Awarded Social Actions Initiative Award from SWS

Graduate student Swati Birla has been awarded a 2022 Winter Social Actions Initiative Award from Sociologists for Women in Society. The Social Actions Initiative Awards directly support and encourage social activism and initiatives from SWS members, and are granted twice per year on an extremely competitive basis.

Swati received this award for her proposed project, "Colors of Soil, Friendships, and Resilience: A Winter School." This project will help to fund a winter program for climate refugee youth in Baishnabghata Patuli Township in the eastern state of West Bengal of India. The winter school aims to offer a 10-day science fair and writing camp and a workshop on Joyful Learning, Cohabitation and Climate Change led by a team of local soil scientists, climatologists, and ecofeminists. The science fair and writing camp is intended to equip children with the skill set to counter superstition and discuss scientific concepts through engaged learning. It will culminate in the publication of a children’s magazine, which will be their first publication.

The Winter camp on Joyful Learning, Cohabitation and Climate Change Awareness was designed with three components: a) classes about regional environmental histories; b) gender sensitization for understanding urban ecosystems/habitats from a feminist frame, and c) skill-training sessions wherein the children will learn upcycling, recycling, and composting. In partnership with the Rokeya Shiksha (education) Center, these efforts intervene to prevent school dropouts, offer health care, political education, dry food rations, books, saris, and sanitary products.

Read more about Swati's project and the other extraordinary awardees from Sociologists for Women in Society.