Banihal’s Giri sailing to Antarctica



Bringing laurels to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Afaq Ahmad Giri, 30, an IRS officer from Jammu and Kashmir is all set to become a member of an international group of 80 environmentalists and climate change experts in Antarctica.

Afaq Giri

The young IRS officer who hails from Bankoot area in Banihal tehsil of Ramban district will be setting off on an expedition to Antarctica on February 27, reported a new Delhi based newspaper, Hindustan Times.

Giri, a 2015 batch officer of Indian Revenue Services is presently posted at Indore as an assistant commissioner in Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC). He was the first IAS qualifier from his village. According to the report, he has said that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join 2041 climate force team led by Robert Swan for the International Antarctica expedition.

“In October 2017, I was selected as one of the 80 candidates across the globe from a 5,000 plus applicant pool to join the Climate Force: Antarctica 2018 expedition and just recently, I got the permission as well as sponsorship from my department to embark upon the expedition,” he was quoted saying.

Dream Come True

“Celebrities drop the phrase on decorated stages, corporate in their mission statements. Somehow, the phrase has become a tool of snobbery. But for me, as someone who has been at the forefront of rescue efforts during two major floods in India – Kashmir in 2014 and Chennai in 2015, I have seen how devastating its consequences can be,” he said. Giri was quoted saying that he always wanted to be with the subject at both micro and macro levels.

“From making day-to-day lifestyle changes that reduce my carbon load on the planet to being involved in policy making processes leveraging the position of leadership that I am privileged to have as a civil servant with the Government of India, I would like to be instrumental in extending a helping hand to people who are already bearing the brunt of climate change, not only in the form of large-scale natural disasters, but also as a lack of access to basic needs,” he added.

The report also read that after coming back from the expedition, Giri plans to impart knowledge to the community, departmental officers and staff and other educational institutes across the state and country to enable them in building resilient and sustainable communities.

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