I first came across Bootcamp when I saw the Season 1 participants on the ADA India Website. I immediately checked with Gagan to see when the next ADA Ambassador program was scheduled. To my despair, it was only going to happen once a year and i had to wait over 10 months. I kept checking the website and the Facebook page to check if there were other programs coming up.
One early morning when i woke up, I was thrilled to see the ADA Ambassador Program poster on my Facebook wall. The black and yellow poster had put a huge smile on my face and I was thrilled the whole day. I had immediately registered for the program, wrote my exams and the articles and was thrilled to see my name on the first of the list to be selected. Consciously ignoring the fact that it was in alphabetical order to add a little extra kick to my step.
I got into Bangalore through the torrential rain late at night on the 8th of September. Could barely get any sleep that night. We were to be at the Gallery at 0900 hrs on the 9th. I woke up early, finished my workout and got a cab (the only logical way to travel in Bangalore) and made sure I was the first person to be there so that I did not miss a word of information. Not only on the first day, on every single day, I made it a point to be there before time.
The ADA Ambassador Program to me was to correct my lapse in knowledge of keeping an ecosystem stable. It was clearly visible in my tanks that there was something missing. The Ambassador Program helped me find it.
Every day of the Ambassador Program was intense. Rightly called the Bootcamp. The best part of it was that even if you wake up at 0500 hrs and sleep at 0000 hrs, you do not get tired if you love what you are doing. 7 days of sleep deprivation and hectic days did not bother me one bit. In fact, I loved every minute of it. I would do another 7 days or more if given the opportunity.
The knowledge you receive from the Program on its own is priceless. That goes without saying. The icing on the cake is that you are also a part of a very focussed peer group. Each one with a different experience and a different take on concepts. That really did clear up a lot of haze in my head. The fact that the group is a very limited number of people helps with connecting with each other and connecting with Adip, Gagan, Harshal, the staff and everyone else that had sessions with us.
For the ADA team, I am sure that each season of the Ambassador Program is a learning process and helps in making the next season better.
Looking forward to being a part of the Nature Aquarium Revolution in India.
Moving forward, after an amazing experience at the Ambassador Program, my vision is to get the concept of a Nature Aquarium across to as many people as I can. A lot of people are not aware that something like this even exists. They haven’t SEEN something like this.
I have the privilege of having access to three different Eco-Resorts. Each of which has a huge footfall each day. My next step is going to be to set up Nature Aquariums at these properties. This is going to help me two fold. I will be able to get that many more people to SEE and become aware of something as beautiful as a Nature Aquarium, and also, create another USP for my business.
Many of us that are in the Nature Aquarium space, look at a Nature Aquarium as a piece of art. In my opinion, it is a piece of art but a whole lot more.
In this day and age, where governments and different organisations are fighting against pollution and different ways to “Save Our Planet”, creating awareness at the very beginning is crucial. Being in the hospitality industry, we see the lack of sensitivity that many of our guests have. It is sometimes extremely disappointing when you have to go and stop an adult from plucking flowers or even throwing tissue paper on the floor. On the other hand, we have seen children, no more than 7 years of age, stopping their parents from plucking flowers. Having a beautiful Nature Aquarium at the resort will definitely create an impact on people. It can have a direct effect on a person’s life. More than that, I believe that it has a greater impact on one’s subconscious, even if you walk past. When someone stops and looks at a Nature Aquarium, when they see the the plants photosynthesising, and fish in harmony, it is bound to create a more sensitive person. When you marry the “looking” at the aquarium with the “education” that an aquarium provides, you are creating a paradigm shift. It’s something that the world needs.
I am blessed to have the infrastructure available with accommodation in three different locations. With the help of ADA, I would like to create Learning Centres. One at a time. My first goal is to setup tanks at our property in Yercaud. I would like to promote this to guests who would be interested to come attend a Nature Aquarium Workshop. We can sell it as a packaged deal with stay and food included. This is another possibility for ADA to consider. Once this Gallery and Learning Centre is established, I would love for you to feel free to use it. Be it workshops, exclusive ADA meets, maybe even Ambassador Programs. The proximity to Bangalore is a major advantage and also from my experience at Coorg, Yercaud has also got a large amount of water bodies and streams which are easily accessible to us.
At the end of the day, if a Nature Aquarium can create a thought in the back of your head, somewhere deep in your subconscious, even without you realising it, and if that thought stops you from plucking a flower or stepping on an insect, we are one step closer to a better world.
Nature Aquariums have the potential to change the world.
Welcome to the Nature Aquarium Revolution.