2014 • Issue 1
Bhavani Prakash walks her talk on environmental awareness.
I first came to Singapore 10 years ago excited at the prospect of entering the banking sector after working in the oilfield services and aviation training sectors in the Middle East oil field. On my first visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2003, I stumbled upon a guided tour of its rainforest section. Captivated by the ecosystem, I became a volunteer tour guide there. My interest and awareness of environmental issues broadened and deepened over the years but I was still drawn to a full-time career in the financial sector, which I had delayed because of my young children.
An epiphany came in 2008 at a leadership seminar where I did a thought experiment. I had to visualise myself on a rocking chair as a grandmother during the twilight years of my life, and observe the world I saw. It did not look pleasant at all — a bleak planet, dilapidated habitats, barren land, polluted water and soil, and great suffering for untold billions.
Then I was asked to rewind my life in my mind, and think of the things I regretted not doing in this lifetime. At that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I have one precious life to live, and I could choose to use it to do the things that are really important, not just for myself, but for my children, my community and the planet. A career in banking paled into insignificance. What really mattered now was to raise my own consciousness and awareness of my thoughts and actions. I started engaging with a wide range of people to learn from them as well as share my experiences and insights to influence positive action in others.
That’s why I set up ‘Eco Walk the Talk’ (ecowalkthetalk.com) in 2008, to raise awareness about environmental issues in Asia. And in 2011, I began engaging the industry via ‘Green Collar Asia’ (greencollarasia.com) as a writer, speaker, trainer and facilitator on sustainability and emotional intelligence. It’s been a transformative journey. The last few years have been the happiest and most meaningful years of my life.