One of the Expedition team in Antartica National centre for Antarctic & Ocean Reseach.
Priya Venkatesh talks about her trip to the frozen continent of Antarctica
The icy wastes of Antarctica are considered the planet’s last complete wilderness. It is not governed by any government and is used by nations from across the globe as a centre for research on a variety of issues, including global warming and climate change.
A trip to the beautiful, uninhabited planet is the stuff dreams are made of for adventure junkies. Such an opportunity came calling for Priya Venkatesh, a city-based amateur photographer and an employee of a training firm.
At a talk held at Koota, she talked about her experiences in the frozen continent and the need for mankind to ensure that Antarctica is preserved.
“I have always been fascinated by the ice caps,” says Priya. “My sister got me the contact details of 2041, an organisation that is spreading awareness of the drastic implications of climate change and of the potential opening up Antarctica to trade and commerce, that could happen when the Antarctic Treaty lapses in 2041.”
The organisation agreed to take Priya to the Antarctic if she raised $ 25,000 in a month and a half. “I reached out to many companies including Fasttrack, EMC2, Piramal Glass, Dell, Travel Corporation of India and Godrej. I raised the amount and headed to South America.”
The trip, which started from the southern tip of South America and to the Antarctic peninsula, lasted two weeks. “The sea was occasionally rough, though we did not face bad weather throughout the trip. It took almost four days on the ship to reach Antarctica. We made occasional forays into the continent and even set up camps and visited the 2041 research centre.”
She adds, “We saw seals, penguins and massive ice selves. We also took turns to take a dip in the icy cold waters of the sea surrounding the continent. The trips happen only in February and March, since it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the ice caps that surround Antarctica melt during this period.”
The group underwent several discussions and talks by eminent researchers and guides, who talked about different aspects of the icy continent, the massive energy resources it holds and the need to preserve it.
“These discussions gave us a better understanding of the region and the issues it deals with. Climate change was also discussed at length.”
The aim of the 2041 mission is to generate awareness about climate change and global warming especially in schools. “It is very important that school children learn more about these issues. The school children today are going to be in positions of power by 2041. If we need to bring durable change, we need to educate the children.”