First Visually Impaired Malaysian Environmentalist Shares Her Story at BAC's IWD Week 

Her presence highlighted the importance of inclusivity and diversity in environmental activism. Her inspiring journey serves as a reminder that everyone has a role to play in protecting our planet. 

On 14th March 2024, as the BAC family celebrated International Women’s Week, a special guest was invited to speak about the importance of gender equality and empowerment of women in society.  

Shantini Guna Rajan, a law graduate who studied for the CLP at BAC, is Malaysia’s first and only visually impaired environmentalist. She was invited by BAC to share her inspiring journey of overcoming obstacles and advocating for environmental conservation despite her visual impairment.  

Born in Sabah, perfectly sighted, Shantini’s first few years growing up on the plantations, surrounded by greenery and nature, instilled in her a deep appreciation for the environment and wildlife. Those first few years of upbringing were what sparked her passion for conservation and environmental advocacy.  

When Shantini turned eight, her life took a turn. She started gradually losing her eyesight. While she is declared legally blind, she still maintains a positive outlook on life and continues to adapt to her new reality with the help of her supportive family and friends. Shantini has learned to navigate the world using other senses and assistive technology, proving that her blindness does not define her capabilities. 

As BAC staff and students listened to her attentively, they were captivated by her passion for nature and the environment and were impressed by her depth of knowledge.  

Conservation, nature and the environment are a shared responsibility”, Shantini stressed. 

She urged all who were in the room to do their part for Mother Earth by: 
- Recycling, Reusing, Reducing 
- Being mindful of our ecological footprint, be it through our consumption or lifestyle 
- Watch our household energy consumption 
- Balancing our needs and wants 

She also stressed that we should all be aware of our environmental rights and lend a voice when it's needed. By staying informed and actively participating in environmental advocacy, we can make a difference in protecting our planet for future generations. It is important to educate ourselves on environmental issues and stand up for what we believe in. 

Shantini continued, “Be aware of where you are, where you live, and where you exist.” 

As the session came to a close, Shantini realised that her former lecturer, Mr. Raja Singham, BAC’s very own Managing Director and Chief Future Officer was among those in the room. She felt a rush of gratitude for his support and guidance throughout her academic journey at BAC. It was a heartwarming scene when Mr. Raja Singham expressed his pride in seeing Shantini’s growth and success. 

Shantini's story serves as a powerful example of resilience and determination in pursuing one's passion and making a positive impact on society. Her dedication to environmental activism is truly inspiring, and her call to action resonates with many who are passionate about preserving the planet.  

Her story reminds us that each individual has the power to create change and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

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