GUEST BLOG: We Won! (MobilizeU)
By Ramesh Rajesh, Regional Coordinator, MobilizeU, Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, India
My team and I were determined to make India win MobilizeU, Earth Day Network’s global inter-varsity environmental competition. And we did – despite the tough competition, the gruelling summer heat, exams and all other college pressures.
Our Green Team brought together eco-forum members, faculty and students at our college to truly make it a grand stand against climate change and biodiversity loss. The 89,000+ acts of green that resulted from our campaign is just the warm up. MobilizeU is now a part of all of us here at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, India, and we will continue with more and more acts of green.
During the MobilizeU month, we organized several competitions for students that made them aware of the tremendous quantities of pollution around us. The importance of sustainable growth and conservation and the need to think critically about and act upon climate issues were highlighted by inspiring speakers such as Dr. T. Murugavel, our mentor who is also an Environmental and Wildlife Expert, and Mr. Nithyanand Jayaram, an Environmental Researcher and Activist.
Some of the noteworthy acts of green that we accomplished included the distribution of portable solar lamps to children in towns nearby; the program was funded by Pothys, Chennai. Our team also planted saplings around the campus. The concept of creating micro-biodiversity hotspots on campus was brought in by our team, and we placed hydro flora in small tanks, hoping that the vegetation would attract and support a wide variety of species ranging from birds to reptiles.
The project Save Our Sparrows, an online campaign to document sparrows in the city, received a tremendous response from our students. We organized a clean-up that sparked an ambitious project to convert plastic wastes into useful fuel by the Mechanical Engineers on our campus.
On the day of the results, Mrs. Karuna A. Singh, Country Director, Earth Day Network-India, called to congratulate us. We assured her that we would not stop at just the win, but take the movement forward so that more and more students are made aware of the need to go green.
The never-ending support from our Chairman Dr. A.C. Muthiah, the Secretary Dr. A. Arunachalam, the Principal Dr. R. Ramachandran, all the Deans, Heads of Departments, Staff and most importantly our friends put us where we are today. Our Faculty Co-Ordinator Dr. T. Murugavel, Professor and Head of Department (Humanities and Social Sciences), was our inspiration, and without his guidance this win would have remained just a dream. We also thank Mr. Vijayaraman, our campus landscaping supervisor for his tireless support to the cause of greening our campus.
Although we are oriented to technology, events like the MobilizeU Campaign helped to remind us and others that we are no greater than Mother Nature and that she must be protected at all costs. Continued united action and awareness is the need of the hour and Earth Day Network has been the perfect platform for us to display our commitment to stopping climate change. We, the Green Team (CARE) from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, ask all the policy-makers and leaders to learn from the student community around the world, on how to save Earth, one act of green at a time!
Thank you Earth Day Network for so effectively mobilizing youth to do their bit for Earth.