“Our aim is to provide technological solutions to environmental problems”
- Mr. Muhil Venkat
Mr. Muhil Venkat graduated from CEG as a manufacturing engineer in the year 2012. Along with his friends, he founded Green Brigade, the official eco-club of CEG in the year 2009. However, this isn’t the extent of his club contributions, with Mr. Muhil also having served as the coordinator for the tech team of Techofes, South India’s oldest cultural fest. He is now the co-founder of Tesark Technologies Private Limited and heads the company as the Chief Operations Officer.
Interviewer: Guru Nivash (GT)
Interviewee: Muhil Venkat (MV)
GT: What inspired you to take up this noble initiative for the welfare of the environment in CEG?
MV: I had always wanted to contribute to the welfare of the campus from the moment I stepped foot in it. Eventually, I was given the chance to do this alongside my team, with Naveen Thangavel from the Mechanical department, Ram Kumar from the Civil department, and Arun Kaushik from the ECE department. We started to look into the prospects of providing technological solutions to the environmental problems in CEG early on into our second year. And that is how we came up with the idea for the club. We initially proposed the idea to Mr. M. Sekhar who was the Dean of CEG back then, along with faculty members Mr. Hariharan sir and the late Dr. E. Natarajan. They had all pitched in their ideas for the club; in fact, the name Green Brigade itself was suggested by Mr. M. Sekhar. Once these discussions were done, they gave us the green light to start the club.
GT: Walk us through some of the projects that the club had worked on so far.
MV: Since we had members of several disciplines in the club, it made it easier for us to work on a variety of different projects. One such project was that of energy auditing, where we collected data on the electricity usage of tube lights and fans in the Red Building and Science and Humanities block. Using the collected data, we were able to propose strategies to reduce energy consumption in these areas. Another notable project we worked on involved the waste collection bins. With the help of the Geoinformatics and Agriculture departments, we were able to map the whole campus using GPS and suggested placing dustbins in some of the most-littered spots on campus. Apart from these projects, we also conducted some poster awareness programmes.
GT: How did you manage to build such a strong team?
MV: We formed the club during our second year, so it was really easy for us to start working together with our batch-mates and friends. Our immediate juniors were also enormous support to us and we cannot appreciate them enough. During our first orientation programme, we were able to recruit around 250 members to join the club. From then on, we conducted many programmes weekly and engaged all members in various activities.
GT: What were some of your favourite moments working for the club with your team?
MV: Our brainstorming sessions where we thought up innovative and eco-friendly ideas for the club are some of my fondest memories of the club. We even had the privilege of working outside the campus during our time in the club. Since CEG is one of the most respected institutes in Tamil Nadu, we were able to represent the state in the ASMAN institute’s summit in Delhi where we presented all of our ongoing projects at the time. We were also given the opportunity to interview distinguished personalities like Amartya Sen and Shashi Tharoor.
GT: What do you think of the growth of the club over the years? Do you have any advice for the current members of the club?
MV: One of our biggest concerns, when we were graduating, was if the club would be able to sustain itself and proceed with its activities once we were gone. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of our juniors the club is still running strong to date. Credits to Smt. Dhivyabharathi, who is now serving as an IFS officer in Maharashtra; her team put in a lot of effort to keep bringing students into the club even after our time. They were able to execute many impressive initiatives during her time in the campus. It was her team that was responsible for identifying and placarding all the different species of trees on campus. As CEG has an abundance of resources, I would suggest students use them for the benefit of our environment. Hopefully, if everything keeps going well our club should be able to conduct events during big fests like Kurukshetra or Techofes.
GT: Do you have anything to say about the Club founders' series of the Guindy Times?
MV: It’s a great initiative and eye-opener for all the students. They can learn a lot about the origins of the clubs in CEG through this interview series. Kudos to all of you for coming up with this idea and I wish you all the best for your future ventures.
The Guindy Times thanks Mr. Muhil Venkat for spending his valuable time with us. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.