Astha Sarmah, the Jorhat teen whose riposte to US President Donald Trump’s tweet on global warming went viral and brought her instant fame, is as passionate about the environment as she is about medical science.
Speaking exclusively to ‘Northeast Now’ on Wednesday, Astha said that she was a voracious reader on topics of science and general knowledge and subscribed to the ‘National Geographic’ magazine from a young age.
“I was also obsessed with channels like ‘Discovery’ and ‘National Geographic’ and wanted to work there, ” she said.
Father Regi Mani, Principal of Don Bosco High School, Bagchung here said that it was Astha’s batch which had first formed the eco club in the school, Greeners Bagchung.
“They used to plant saplings inside the campus among other activities,” he said.
Talking about the club, Astha said that she and some of the other students with the help of two teachers had organised the club.
“Apart from planting saplings, we used to speak on environmental issues of importance in the morning Assembly and on Environment Day, we put up a talk show, a kind of play where the environmental message was disseminated through a conversation between two or more people,” she said.
Astha is now studying hard to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for entry into a medical college.
On being asked as whether a profession in medicine which was tough would not hamper her passion for the environment, Astha said that she was as passionate about the field of medicine as that of environment.
“I have watched my father, who is a doctor, serving the poor from rural areas and I consider this to be a noble profession which commands a lot of respect if one works with moral responsibility,” she said.
GN Sarmah, coordinator of Pragya Academy from where Astha passed her Class 12 final examination said that she was an intelligent (Astha in her tweet had mentioned that she was an average student) and very sincere in all she did like her father Dr GC Sarmah, who is currently posted at Moran in Dibrugarh district.
Regarding her tweet to Trump on Twitter, she had said that it was just one among the other responses to his statement questioning the veracity of global warming when the weather had turned so cold
“When I read that tweet, I also looked at the other replies mostly by people related to science who said how he was wrong. I also thought that this was completely wrong and that people may get the wrong idea. As he is the President of a country, he should have more control over his words. Everybody is also angry with him over the USA withdrawing from the Paris Convention, ” she said.
Donald Trump had tweeted: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS. Whatever happened to global warming?”
And, Astha’s reply was: “I am 54 years younger than you….But even I can tell you that WEATHER IS NOT CLIMATE.”