In what can be said as a dream come true, 23-year old Mallika Arya from Gurugram went to Antarctica, the place where only 1% of the world population gets to go. She was a part of the International Antarctica Expedition 2017, an 82-member group led by renowned climate change expert Robert Swan. Not the trip, but what was exceptional was the fact that she managed to go on the expedition through crowdfunding.
In a report published in The Times of India, Mallika said, “I had taken the year off for travelling and was doing a month-long trip to south India. During the trip, I met a girl who had been on an expedition to Antarctica. She suggested that I try for the 2017 expedition. So I wrote to Robert Swan, the head of the expedition, last August, and he replied that he would love for me to join, provided I could raise funds for my journey.”
Mallika needed around 12 lakh for the expedition, after putting in most of her savings, she was still short of funds. She then formed a crowdsourcing platform and managed to raise the required money in some months.
The expedition was focused on zero waste travelling, she said, “Zero- waste travelling involves minimizing the use of any processed or packaged food and leaving as little a waste trail as possible.
However, Mallika told she has no plans to visit Antarctica sooner and that the place should remain unexplored. “After going there, I have realized that there is a reason the place is so beautiful. It’s because it is untouched, and it should stay that way. So I would say people should not go there a lot or it will harm the ecosystem there”.