Making a Difference by Being the Difference (MAD) is an organization founded by WHT Alumni, Abhijay Negi, which recently held India’s first zero waste marathon. (Left: Chief Minister Trivendra Singh kicks off the marathon in India) The marathon is one of the organizations many pioneering, environmental awareness oriented campaigns. It was held in celebration of MAD’s 7th anniversary. Aside from drawing participation from over 8,000 runners, the Marathon stayed true to mission by using steel glasses and kulhads (a type of a traditional small earthen utensil made of clay) to serve water and food. Not a single plastic banner was printed  for the event which instead used banners made of canvas cloth. To read more about the event visit the Times of India website here. Abhijay has since conducted a TEDx talk about his work through MAD. The organisation has continued its campaign to rejuvenate the Rispana river of Doon Valley by involving more and more youngsters in cleanups and advocacy. Read more about this work here. MAD is also currently the only NGO and youth activist group to be a part of the policy formulation high table that has been convened by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, pressuring  several Government departments to drop their concrete/construction/dam- oriented approach to rejuvenating the river and focus on plantation of endemic species that conserve water. MAD has also asked the Government regularly, both in one to one meetings and publicly, to remove all encroachments on the river that enjoy political patronage. Read more about it here As MAD prepares to take its next step as a preeminent youth led organization in India, Abhijay has chosen to pass the baton of the Organization’s leadership to a fresh face. “I recently announced that I will resign from the post of its (MAD) President. As it’s Founder, I wanted MAD to evolve into a movement of young minds and not to remain it’s life-long President. As I have started my litigation career, I thought it was time that the reigns of a student movement are put in the hands of a student. I will soon be passing on the baton as soon as the formalities are complete”. Here is the link to Abhijay’s resignation letter.

About the Scholar

Abhijay Negi

Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), 2017
Mansfield College, Oxford
Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann Scholar