As a child, books and stray animals were my closest friends. If I wasn't petting a stray kitten, I was curled up with a book, lost amid faraway adventures, long picnics and magical trees. That's what books do - they transport you to other worlds, some safer than ours, some more dangerous, but always fascinating. And the written words and the pictures are the spells to unlock these other worlds. All you have to do is open a book.
When Bijal Vachharajani is not reading Harry Potter, she can be found traipsing around the jungles of India.
In her spare time, Bijal works so that she can fund those trips and expensive Potter books. She did this by working as the Editor at Time Out Bengaluru. She is now a consultant with Fairtrade Asia Pacific and writes about children’s literature and sustainable development as a freelance journalist.
Bijal has worked as a journalist at Time Out Mumbai, where she edited the Around Town city section and the Kids section. At the same time, she worked as the South Asia Co-ordinator for 350.org, an international movement that’s working on the climate crisis. Here, she helmed events such as 10/10/10, a global day of climate action and 350 Earth, a satellite art project and handled social media.
She has a master’s degree in Environment Security and Peace with a specialization in Climate Change and Security at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Here, she also graduated with culinary skills, with a major in banana chocolate muffins and chana masala.
Bijal was also part of the launch team of Disney Adventures, a children’s magazine where she wrote and worked closely with schools and has previously headed Kids for Tigers, a school contact programme on conservation.