INESAD News: Welcome Surabhi Karambelkar

482397_10151564119529806_323163688_nAs part of continuous growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming our newest addition Surabhi Karambelkar:

Surabhi is a currently pursuing a Master’s in Environment and Sustainable Development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) at the University College London (UCL). She started her work in the environmental sector by focussing on wildlife conservation where she worked as a freelance volunteer and wildlife expert with the local organizations National Education Foundation and Naturewalk. Through engaging with forest communities on wildlife conservation projects she realized that they were increasingly dependent on the forest to meet their needs. This indicated that social development and environmental issues are intrinsically linked and convinced to her broaden her focus to encompass the two areas.

Since then Surabhi has been working with several social and environmental NGOs including Greenpeace to promote environmental conservation and has actively worked with school children and corporate executives to sensitize them towards the environmental degradation taking place due to anthropogenic factors. While working in health camps for indigenous communities in India, she was drawn towards how water and gender issues shaped the lives of the people in these areas, especially women. During her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Fergusson College in India, Surabhi developed these interests further by writing a thesis on reducing water treatment costs by using the filtration power of a rock called Zeolite, which had the power to drastically reduce the heavy metal concentration from industrial effluents. As her thesis was based on a new technology, it was selected for presentation at an international conference hosted at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in India in March 2012.

While still in her undergraduate course, Surabhi was selected as an Oxfam Action Partner for the 2010-2013 cycle. She also represented India at an Oxfam International Conference in November 2010, for her work in the social and environmental sector where she significantly contributed to their climate change session. From January 2013 to April 2013, Surabhi carried out extensive desk research on water injustices in Peru for the DPU and a partner NGO in Peru called Foro Cuidades Para la Vida. This was followed by over three weeks of field work in April-May 2013 in the peri-urban areas of Lima, where she worked with local communities, experts, and officials from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Housing to assess and map the ground reality and help with strategic planning to improve community water access.

As much as she loves fieldwork, Surabhi also loves research. Through her work for INESAD, she hopes to hone her research and writing skills by engaging with experienced professionals and colleagues from around the world who share her passion for environmental and development issues. She considers this opportunity a great learning experience to aid her in her professional development.

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