Earth Day Network celebrates Children’s Day
Children's Day is celebrated in India on November 14, the birthday of the country's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly known as Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru) by children. The day is specially celebrated at the school level all across India with children participating in community activities, sports and other fun filled programs. The spirit of Children’s Day or Bal Divas as it is popularly referred to in Hindi, reflects the nascent strength and growth of the nation. Alongside, it also emphasizes the importance of love, affection and respect for the essence of childhood.
Earth Day Network took the opportunity to spread environmental awareness on Children’s Day by partnering with Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (BITM), the country’s oldest science museum under the National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The event brought in 500 children from the Nabadisha Education Program supported by the Vikramshila Education Resource Society, a non-profit organization working on ‘Right to Education’ for children. The Nabadisha project has been one of the successful endeavors of Kolkata Police in the field of community development and is acclaimed by the UNICEF.
The day began with children gathering in the garden to participate in a canvas painting show guided by the well known illustrator and creator of children’s comics, Narayan Debnath. The octogenarian with one stroke of his pen lovedly drew a canopy while the children added different elements to signify the importance of canopies to protect the environment and to improve air and water quality.
At the other end of the ground children excitedly participated in kite flying. The barren blue sky was lit up with numerous green kites and the field became alive with the cheerful echoes of children’s laughter and applause. The kites were made by the children in a workshop prior to the event and carried green messages hand written by them.
As these got over, children were called to see a street play, the theme of which was water conservation. The play was directed by the noted theatre group of Usha Ganguli. The children actors used simple props to enact a story revolving around the significance of cleanliness and community participation to save water.
Along with outdoor engagements, there were also a series of interesting indoor activities that took place in the museum. There was a lecture-demonstration on the theme of Wealth from Waste where school children learnt about recycling, segregating and disposing waste responsibly. The children also enjoyed a magic show displayed how many things that look like magic are really scientific phenomenon..