Ulgulan Talks! : Interview with Giridhar NV

The Sangyan
4 min readOct 18, 2022

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In this fifth interview of The Sangyan’s ‘Ulgulan Talks!’, an endeavor to voice the issues of the larger interest of ‘We, the People’, Abhishek (the interviewer) talks with Giridhar NV, a young man from Bengaluru, Karnataka, primarily regarding the impact of climate change on his life with reference to his disability.

A traditional cooking setup from a tribal village with “The Sangyan: Ulgulan Talks!” written over it on the smaller platform and below the earthen chimney. The setup has eight small earthen chimneys over a small platform that settles over a larger platform all made up of soil and other natural ingredients and are brown in colour.
The Sangyan — Ulgulan Talks!

Giridhar is a Graduate Engineer at Atkins. He has pursued and completed his education in Bachelor in Engineering (B.E.) in Mechanical Engineering from CMR Institute of Technology, Bengaluru in 2020. Giridhar can be reached at his LinkedIn profile.

This interview was conducted in October 2022 through online mode in written format. The due informed consent of the interviewee has been taken before the publication of the blog. Further, the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ of the interviewee shall be respected.

Giridhar NV standing on a walkway in front of a building in a white shirt and black pant with flower and plant pots behind him
Giridhar NV

Hello Giridhar, please talk about your life journey in some detail for our readers.

I had been a sighted individual till the age of 20 when I was a mechanical engineering student in the 5th semester. I lost my sight completely to optic nerve atrophy and other effects due to a post Dengue complication.

Henceforth, I have adapted to challenges and navigated barriers to complete mechanical engineering in 2020 and continue to fight challenges. At present, I work with Atkins with the title of graduate engineer. I also explore alternative methods for visual interfaces and work toward solutions in the core engineering domain.

Please talk about your condition/disability and comorbidities, if any, in some detail.

I’m totally blind in both my eyes. I lost my sight completely to optic nerve atrophy and other effects due to a post Dengue complication.

Please talk about your experience with climate change (read extreme weather and climatic conditions like heatwaves, cyclones, floods, etc.) that affected or worsened your experience or condition. Please provide a personal account if plausible.

Extreme heat environments dry up my eyes significantly when compared to a regular-sighted person due to artificial gel filled to sustain my eye structure. I am fortunate to reside in Bangalore where the temperature on the higher side hasn’t crept in so far or lesser heat wave impact in my region.

However, I bear the brunt of extremities when I travel to regions where temperature is extremely high. At a personal level, climate change and global warming will certainly have an effect as mother earth becomes warmer and heat waves are frequent. I strongly believe climate change affects everyone at some point in their life; if not today, then tomorrow; if not you, your next generation.

What do you think about climate change (read extreme weather and climatic conditions like heatwaves, cyclones, floods, etc.) acting as a threat multiplier and resulting in capability deprivation from your own personal experience? Please provide a personal account if plausible.

The most visible change due to climate change for me is the microclimatic conditions around me. The increased frequency of cloud bursts and heat waves at a very basic level has affected my daily travel schedules and increased the risks of safety when I’m outside my residence.

As organizing and planning are integral parts of my lifestyle, very frequent disruptions result in spontaneous and unexpected changes in plans to and from my workplace. I also make minor changes to my medication often to cope with changes in the weather patterns.

Please tell me about any measure/action you took to mitigate the negative impact of climate change (read extreme weather and climatic conditions like heatwaves, cyclones, floods, etc.) in your life to avoid worse-off experiences. Please provide a personal account if plausible.

To negate impacts on my personal level, I do lubricate my eyes in short intervals.

At a general level, I plan my travel routes to cover multiple events at a time, to reduce emissions; I am also exploring the use of electric vehicles and a green roof to reduce the heat island effect and microclimate.

What else do you think needs to be done to counter the worse-off experiences of climate change (read extreme weather and climatic conditions like heatwaves, cyclones, floods, etc.) with respect to your specific condition? Please suggest from your personal experiences.

At present, significant carbon emissions are associated with transport and energy consumption. Clean energy and renewable energy have to become mainstream, we as a society have to be conscious of how we consume energy and try to reduce waste generation to curb the negative impacts of climate change.

Any further comments you want to make with respect to climate change and disability?

Climate change is everyone’s problem and naturally, everyone including Persons with Disabilities has a stake in policies, control measures, decision-making, and mitigation efforts related to climate change.

This was Giridhar NV talking about his life journey and his experience with disability and climate change. We, at The Sangyan and Ulgulan Talks, thank him for giving his precious time and an opportunity to know about him and his lived experiences.

Abhishek Kumar is an NCPEDP-Javed Abidi fellow on Disability who is currently working on the “Impact of Climate Change on People with Disabilities. The author can be reached at <abhishek.ncpedp@gmail.com>.

The interview has been published on the blog of The Sangyan as part of its public engagement and discourse initiative called ‘Ulgulan Talks!’.

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The Sangyan

Law. Environment. Disability | Curator ~ Adv. Abhishek Kumar | Working on the 'Impact of Climate Change on Persons with Disabilities' | thesangyan.in | 🇮🇳 |