Being a journalist, I am comfortable with asking “What, why, when, where, who, how” for a story. But last week I found myself on the other side of a story, when I was interviewed by Living on Earth, a radio program on Public Radio International. And let me tell you, as I am sure you will hear (when I hem and haw through the interview), it’s easier to ask questions rather than answer them. The interview was part of Living on Earth’s check in with six organisers who are gearing up for the Global Work Party this Sunday. Have a listen, and then read on for a bit more of an update on Work Party preparations in India…

It is immensely exciting for us to know our work in South Asia is connected to such a powerful and beautiful movement around the globe. And let me share a little more about that work, in case you might find equal inspiration where you are:

In India, 400 college campuses have registered to be part of the Great Power Race, a clean energy competitions across campuses in India, the USA and China. For Sunday, there are already over 180 events registered 23 Indian states, with plans ranging from cycle rallies to massive tree plantation drives, from anti-plastic campaigns to green theatrical performances.

It’s been quite a whirlwind of activities over the last few months. Our team in India has been calling, emailing and discussing plans with over 200 organisers. My colleague Roselin Dey just returned from a sustainable camp in Kolkata where she addressed a team of 100 young adults about the role of social networking in such campaigns. After all, Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz are our new best buddies as more and more people are logging on to check out our work, start discussions and sign up for the work parties.

A few weeks ago, along with Sanctuary Asia magazine, 350 also met the Maharashtra governor Mr Sankaranarayanan. The Raj Bhavan, the residence of the Governor in Mumbai is a verdant patch in the middle of a concrete jungle. Now, the governor has assured us that the Raj Bhavan will be adapting practices including rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling and harnessing solar energy. This assurance comes right after the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced its green plans, including putting solar panels on the presidential house.

And to make sure that the organiser’s voices are broadcasted right back to the people and our political leaders, we have been busy trying to get media excited about 10/10/10. Already, Time Out’s editions in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru have informed their readers that “this month, on 10-10-10, the world will do more than celebrate a number.”

Since I get dozens of calls from PR reps every day, I have got a general rule of thumb which I follow while talking to fellow journalists (a few tips for those of you talking to media for your work party this Sunday):

  • Name dropping: Get the journalist’s name and beat right – it can be very annoying when you’re writing about crime and someone pitches you a story on green fashion.
  • High five: Figure out the five things you want to say and make sure you say that. This should essentially be what are we doing, why, how, when and where.
  • Quotable Quotes: Give precise and brief quotes that can be used verbatim by a reporter.

With barely a week to 10/10/10, the heat is on. And as magazine Grazia writes, “If there’s one number that’s going to be making headlines all the way from Washington to Wayanad this October, it’s 350… No matter what you choose to do on 10/10/10, you can’t escape the heat of”

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