Volunteer Spotlight: Gabbita Mruthyunjaya Sastry

Each month, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers around the world. Want to volunteer with World BEYOND War? Email greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

Location:

Hyderabad, India

How did you get involved with anti-war activism and World BEYOND War (WBW)?

During my first foreign journey to Germany in 1999, the Kargil war broke out between India and Pakistan. My counterpart from Pakistan and I had heated conversations about the evolving democracies of India and Pakistan. I argued that India is an evolved democracy. My counterpart from Pakistan said that both are fledgling democracies! Thinking that my arguments at the microlevel contributed to the conflict between India and Pakistan, I felt that some responsibility might lie with me.

Later, when I was unemployed, I started blogging about issues of war and peace, first on a blog called “War@what cost” and later at “War is easy and peace is difficult”.

When the Ukraine-Russia war broke out, I decided to work on social media full time, making my friends aware of the wars, their consequences, economic costs, etc. So I started using social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Threads, and I created a disarmament group on WhatsApp. Disarmament is the only solution for avoidance of wars, because war is mass slaughter.

Some time recently I became an IEP ambassador with the Institute for Economics and Peace. One day I received a general email about World BEYOND War (WBW) and wrote to them. The Organising Director offered me a volunteer position with the Events Calendar team. I started filling out the calendar with events on the Ukraine war and Palestine war, and have suggested more events to add.

What kinds of WBW activities do you work on?

My main responsibility is to post events to the WBW events calendar, which includes researching and suggesting pro-peace, anti-war events that might be a good fit for the calendar. Apart from posting events, I share WBW’s articles on demilitarisation and disarmament on my social media channels.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with anti-war activism and WBW?

Get professionally trained. Participate in some seminars/conferences/rallies etc. Join NGOs such as WBW as a volunteer. Get focused and gain deep knowledge. Watch episodes on world politics and the military on YouTube.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

I would like to network with more like-minded people and institutions, and hope to someday lead teams doing pro-peace, anti-war work. I have been advocating on other subjects in different positions and different contexts throughout most of my career. In 2023, I also established a disarmament prize to award inspiring individuals and organizations working for peace.

Posted January 17, 2024.

One Response

  1. WOW! This is a great portrait of a great Peace activist. Congratulations Gabbita for all you do for Peace. It is very nice to meet you.

    I know very little about India, but I have many friends in Kashmir. If some day, you have time, we could have a chat about this ongoing issue. It would be very interesting to have you input on it.

    I wish you a very happy and peaceful new year.

    Peace,

    Marion (from the Senegalese chapter)

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