Millennium Fellow Advocates for India’s First Integrated Climate Study Center

In December of 2004, Ganesh Dileep was woken up in the dead of the night and forced to flee his home in Kerala, India, with nothing but the clothes on his back to escape the notorious Indian Ocean Tsunami. In the days following the tsunami, the effects and destruction on his hometown were palpable. Not only did Ganesh suffer massive losses to his home but also several of his friends, neighbors, and relatives did not survive the tsunami. Years later, he once again saw the effects of climate change first hand when he moved to Chennai for his education, another Indian city that is constantly seeing cataclysmic events. 

Just last year Chennai ran out of groundwater. The drought reached a level of emergency where lower and lower-middle-class struggled to buy or get access to drinking water.

It is these events that Ganesh says have continued to “haunt him” and became his reason to build climate resilience in India.

"I know how it feels to be woken up from sleep one night and spend days unsure of whether your home exists or not. I know how it feels to lose it; to watch others lose their homes, belongings, and lives. I know that it is too late now to entirely right the wrongs of those we have inherited this world from. The least I can do is help the world be better prepared.”

IIT Madras hostel during the floods
IIT Madras hostel during the floods

In order to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change, Ganesh and his team of student leaders have joined forces to work