Climate Change is real! if we sit in nature for just ten minutes and observe we can witness how fast natural things are deteriorating. Social activists have been tirelessly working to raise awareness about climate change and push people to act on their actions. But only some of us have heard about Coral bleaching and the kind of impact it can have on our ecosystem.
23-year-old Vidhi Bubna, founder of Coral Warriors witnessed coral bleaching and was heartbroken. She realized that what someone does on the land has an adverse impact on life underwater.
Team Sociobits and the founder Vidhi Bubna connected with one another to explore the startup Coral Warriors and know more about coral bleaching.
Team Sociobits: Could you tell us a little about yourself and about Coral Warriors?
Founder: I am an Economics graduate from Ashoka University but I was always drawn to adventurous things and experiences. I knew that economics was not my field of interest and always wished to try diving. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that I got experience scuba diving for the first time.
Although scuba diving was challenging and I faced difficulties but it was at that moment that I finally let go of my fears, I felt one with water. Every time I dive, I feel closer to myself and it feels like a peaceful meditative practice. I also completed my master scuba diver course from Maldives, Egypt and Andaman.
I founded Coral Warriors in September 2021 to provide Indian diving enthusiasts a chance to apply for India’s only diving grant. While selecting an eligible candidate for the grant, I look for individuals who are keen on scuba diving and someone who wants to help in making a difference regarding global climate change. Before finally selecting a candidate, there is also an interview round that is conducted.
Team Sociobits: What are the issues that you are trying to address through Coral Warriors?
Founder: During my first scuba-diving experience in Andaman, I remember that all the corals were bleached. It was almost looked like a graveyard inside the ocean. This made me feel very guilty and I kept questioning whether I was responsible for it.
When the temperature of water rises, small animals i.e. corals start turning white or begin to die. This can be witnessed across the world. The problem is, if corals start to die, the small fishes that eat them will also die in turn disrupting the whole ecosystem. People need to understand that climate change is not just a political topic anymore. Some reports suggest that seas will be empty by the year 2048 and I think it is high time that people wake up and realize this will definitely impact human lives also.
Team Sociobits: Could you tell us about the Coral Warriors grant?
Founder: The grant is for diving enthusiasts who want to experience the underwater world through diving and witness the whitening of coral reefs. We believe that this will help in increasing the awareness of climate change in water and experiencing the reality of it.
There are eligibility criteria and an application process that makes sure the person who is chosen keeps walking on this path of spreading awareness. This grant is only available for Indian nationals and as of now there is no other organization like Coral Warriors in India but there are similar organizations in Australia and the UK. We are now also present in Brazil and are following a similar application process as India for Brazilian nationals.
“reports suggest that seas will be empty by the year 2048 and I think it is high time that people wake up and realize this will definitely impact human lives also.”-Vidhi Bubna, Founder of Coral Warriors.
Team Sociobits: Why did you choose scuba diving as a way to create awareness about coral bleaching?
Founder: The way I felt during my first scuba diving experience was a reality check for me. Facing natural experiences like coral bleaching a few times can help people realize that something is going wrong on our part. After around one week of scuba diving, I saw how real coral bleaching was.
If someone gets a chance to experience this first hand, the person usually has an emotional response and also profoundly understands what is climate change doing to our blue side and ultimately affecting each and every being. Scuba diving is something that will allow individuals to interact with the water world and understand its problems.
Team Sociobits: What is your roadmap for the future?
Founder: As of now Coral Warriors is aiming to spread awareness about coral conservation in India and get as many people as possible to get involved in this cause.
Apart from continuously working towards spreading awareness, we are also looking to get more investors and board of directors on board so we can create opportunities and fund as many people as we can. We aim to do this for people who are interested in learning about underwater life and diving because we want to share our privilege as well as create privilege for other people.
The founder feels that if we together take more conscious steps every day, then we can make a difference in helping reverse the climate change process. It is as simple as thinking about all the organisms while making daily decisions and choosing the less environmentally harmful one.