Pravin Mulay is an Alumnus of NIRMAN 9. Pravin has completed his M.Tech from IIT Bombay. Currently, he is working with Farmers For Forests as a Research Associate.
Shodhgram - An area of 45 acres of land covered with greenery. With the atmosphere filled with enthusiasm as well as curiosity, a drone takes off to capture aerial views of the green cover. Taking successful aerial shots of the hundreds of trees spread across Shodhgram using the GIS technology, the drone lands safely. The man working on this concept of identifying & capturing the images of tress as well as assessing their carbon sequestration potential using machine learning is a 25 years old Emerging Adult, Pravin Mulay.
Formative Years & The ‘NIRMAN’ Turn
His M.Tech. years proved to be crucial in determining Pravin’s journey. He became a member of Group for Rural Activities (GRA) at IIT Bombay which worked on understanding different social issues as well as having a dialogue with people working on those issues, solidifying his social inclination. His associates at IIT Bombay later informed him about NIRMAN which brought about the turning point which he was waiting for.
The Quest for Purposeful Life
Pravin also shares how he charted his ‘Purpose’ journey. Pravin states, “Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s model of Swabhav-Swadharma-Yugdharma was crucial in me finding my purpose. I knew my nature which was apt for a research role. Looking around & witnessing the distressed state of farmers, I was aware of my duty to contribute for their well-being. Farmer for Forests ultimately provided me with the opportunity to also work on the climate change issue which was both universal as well as one of the most important factors leading to worrisome plight of farmers. It was a perfect alignment of what was required, what I liked & what was potential.”
Working on ‘Something Important’
According to Pravin, the operating model of Farmers for Forests, which is based on the concept of Payment for Ecosystem Services, is a unique combination wherein both the issues of farmers as well as climate change are tackled. “Conserving & adding to the green cover is essential to mitigate climate change. At the same time, it will also benefit the farmers who will get an additional income for conserving green cover,” claims Pravin. He furthers adds that transition to renewable energy sources is time consuming while the issue of climate change needs urgent action from us leaving us with the choice of capturing carbon. The current technologies to capture carbon are costly & so, plantation of trees is the only feasible choice for carbon capture.
Pravin’s role as a Research Associate has proven to be instrumental in the organization making effective use of technology in their modus operandi. “I had been a keen observer of various projects during my academic years & always was curious about machine learning. It was all about application of what I knew to develop the solution to the problem I saw”, says Pravin. He also adds, “I am satisfied with my role as I am able to use my technical skills for an important activity in the organization. I can say that finally I am contributing to ‘something important’.
Pravin’s journey is an example of how youth can align
their profession with their purpose. Moreover, he unfolds a beautiful process
for those in search of their purpose.