GUEST BLOG: Nature Bodies Achieves a Record on Earth Day 2012 in India
By Fergus Mark Anthony, coordinator for Nature Bodies (Bilaspur, India)
We joined forces with Earth Day Network-India and started our campaign for Earth Day 2012 on March 1 with a mere 8 or 9 volunteers. Our small group visited 80 schools all across Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. There, we educated the students about various environmental issues and invited them to join us in our campaign for Earth Day 2012.
After completing our Educational Program on April 15, we analyzed our campaign and found that we had reached out to almost 16,000 students and teachers. The results were undeniably inspiring, and helped us to move on with this campaign alongside a colossal army of student supporters.
Next, we thought about our Earth Day event to be held on April 22 in Bilaspur City, and we decided to “Paint for Our Planet.” This painting was meant to represent the major environmental problems that the Earth is facing today, as well as the different ways we can combat them.
We also decided that this painting would be large, very large – large enough to represent the imaginations of the students and people from all around Bilaspur. We wanted to make an enormous canvas painting using several types of mixed media – reused paper, plastic, newspaper, etc. — all put together with the help of fervent creativity and eco-friendly paints.
This project was so momentous that it would later be recorded by the Limca Book of Records as the largest canvas painting made of mixed media!
So, with solid teamwork and a shared vision, we started working to shape this event. We went to schools in the city to extend an invitation to join us. We also invited VIPs from the city like the District Collector, the Speaker of Chhattisgarh Assembly, and the District Educational Officer as well as representatives from corporations and environmental groups.
Then, on April 22, 2012, World Earth Day, we began our grand project. Our event kicked off at 9 a.m. sharp as the students took their places to paint their imaginations. Work started in full force, as all the students were in high spirits.
Since our project utilized mixed media (it was not only limited to painting), we also included the theme of “recycled collage” and used waste plastic and paper from the city. We had estimated the completion of our canvas in 7 hours, planning to wrap up around 4:00 PM, but we happily concluded our painting at 3:16 P.M, within 6 hours and 16 minutes of the initial start.
After our painting was complete, observers measured it and made the final announcement of its gargantuan size. The painting measured 16,290 square feet, making it the Largest Canvas Painting in Mixed Media – now officially entered in the Limca Book of Records.
This announcement was a great achievement for us, the Nature Bodies, and it sent out a wave of happiness throughout our whole initiative as we completed our task. We are thankful to each and every student, teacher, parent, corporation, dignitary, and individual who contributed to this event.
As we end this campaign, we have received the support of 1,250 volunteers – quite an expansion from the original 8! We are also proud to say that over 16,000 students have joined us in this campaign to save their planet Earth by pledging over 80,000 acts of green to Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green® campaign.
Bilaspur, India, is ready to make every day Earth Day!