Author – Arpit Kumar
Coral warriors is a non-profit organization founded by Vidhi Bubna in 2021, a rescue diver, with the belief that scuba diving can create much needed perspective shifts for the youth. Her aim is to create more opportunities for people especially for Indian youth and help them to gain access to diving. Other countries already have running grants for diving and underwater exploration, but this is the first ever grant in India dedicated to diving. After completing the training and required certification, the founder came to know that people in India rarely have access to the underwater world of coral reefs. Vidhi noticed that this was because of the lack of funding to facilitate these scuba courses, rather than the absence of passionate youth. So, she decided to launch a non-profit organization “Coral Warriors” being India’s first ever diving grant for the youth, by the youth.
We all know that India is home to a fifth of the world’s youth population. That’s why we need the youth who are passionate about climate change and want to make an impact in the climate change sector. Coral Warriors wants to see Indians heading the global narrative on climate change.
Diving grants all over the world like UK, Australia, USA and other countries already exist but this type of grant in India is the first of its kind. Coral Warriors wants to support at least one diving enthusiast of Indian nationality. We are also providing grants worth INR 70,000 to support diving education. However, we want to send as many people as possible. We have a special screening process to on board enthusiastic youth volunteers to attain the desired funding. Our goal is to get more passionate members of the youth involved in diving so they can observe prevalent coral damage first hand and can do something about it. Many Indians don’t even know what corals are, for that we need youth who can create awareness and also help save the corals. India being home to some of the most surreal diving spots has places like Andaman, Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry and Lakshadweep, it is essential to save corals along our reefs.
Do you know that coral reefs are often described as tropical forests of the ocean? They are the organisms enhancing the beauty of marine ecosystems. From octopuses to dolphins, most marine organisms rely upon the reefs as a basic source of food. The beauty of coral reefs is that they absorb the intoxicated elements in water, thus making water near the coastal regions pure and filtered. Not only this, they also contribute significantly to the economy. Those who live near the coastal regions depend upon reefs for food, protection and employment. But now, coral reefs have started to bleach and are facing massive die-off because of the growing industrialization, environmental instability and increasing carelessness. At present, almost 50% of the coral reefs have withered away and soft corals have started to decompose. At this rate things will be out of our hands in no time, we need the most energetic and passionate youth who can help conserve them for our future generations. Our vision is to raise awareness about coral damage and ocean pollution, to highlight it’s deteriorating impact on life underwater. Coral Warriors is also live in Brazil. We are funding one Brazilian National per year to learn diving and support their intended environmental impact.
We want more Indians involved in adventure activities like diving which the youth only see on television channels. Traditional Indian families do not prefer to support their children to pursue a career path that does not make them the most financially well-off. However, Coral Warriors wants to see that change in a stern Indian mindset and support those who are unable to access enough funds to go diving. We want to make diving education more accessible and affordable to deserving candidates from India, a country with high poverty and less opportunities to pursue adventure activities.
To encourage more and more people to understand the critical importance of preserving the marine environment, CORAL WARRIORS has decided to initiate the grant for Indian youth who actively want to be a part of the climate conservation activities. This grant will be provided to those who wish to learn how to scuba dive. At the end of the diving course, the grant awardee is expected to work on a detailed global impact project. As the saying goes, “Diving is an investment of time and money but the rewards can be life changing, literally”. Diving, while it is an “adventure sport,” takes people into a calm and quiet environment — there are no phones, no emails, no way for the terrestrial world to contact you. It is forty five minutes of pure solace. We want more diving enthusiasts from India to actually get the opportunity to dive.