Climate Action

Schools in Kolkata Take Impressive Action for Earth Day

While millions across India took action for Earth Day 2013 with myriad programs and events, the efforts of educational institutions in Kolkata were particularly noteworthy for their brilliant ideas and innovative ways of promote awareness for The Face of Climate Change. Schools and colleges held multiple programs over a number of days, and some over weeks.  Earth Day Network India staffhelped coordinate the programs.  Our staff attended events, and made presentations on the significance of Earth Day, shared information on environmental issues, and encouraged the students to work to protect Earth. The major environmental issues focussed on were those that particularly impact India – pollution, deforestation, and waste management. Below is just a glimpse of some of the many activities held in schools and colleges in Kolkata. And, if we add to those the programs that were held for students in museums and other public spaces, then we can safely say that Earth Day reached tens of thousands of students in Kolkata. Many of the schools, including Don Bosco held special assemblies where the entire school participated.  Others held competitions such as essay writing, poster making, and clay modelling.  Boys from Birla High School composed an “Ode to Earth” which they all sang with great enthusiasm.  Akshar, an inclusive school, held workshops to help students recycle material into props such as masks and costumes for a play on saving species from extinction.  Frank Anthony Public School had their students pledge to do their bit for Earth. The students also staged a play that highlighted the harmful effects of radiation from mobile towers, which sometimes are placed in residential areas, and held a poster show that explained the devastating effects of fumes from the burning of plastic.  Ling Liang High School included in their several programs, a “No Fuel Cooking” competition. It was amazing how many tasty dishes the students created – and all without using any fuel. Loreto Day School, Dharamtala, had their school voluntarily shut down electric utilities as a symbolic gesture to conserve energy.  In addition, the students made a human chain down an arterial road in order to spread the green message to the broader community. Loreto Day School, Bowbazar, included tree planting drives  and a dance recital. Loreto College screened environmental films. The Loreto House Teacher Training Center, which trains junior school teachers, devoted two days to programs that included street theater. Women’s Christian College took the initiative to bring together several colleges to take part in inter-college debates and poster making competitions.  Over twenty educational organizations participated. St. James’ School, which held a week-long commemoration, also included window box gardening – so useful in a city that has limited open spaces – placard and mural painting, and a project on rainwater harvesting.  St. Xavier’s Collegiate School hosted an “Inter School Nature Fest” that featured all types of environmentally-themed competitions – model-making, photography, making power point presentations, one-act plays, etc.  They also held panel discussions.  The Park English Schoolput up several charts on environmental issues.  The Heritage School held several events.  And so the list goes on…. The awareness about environmental issues among India’s youth has taken a quantum leap forward this year.  And it is continuing as Earth Day Network India connects with more organizations every day to help take this awareness even wider.