THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Environmental imbalance has reached hazardous levels and measures to curb climate change have become an international priority. It is therefore most appropriate and urgent that the issue of climate change is shared with the young generation through the most obvious platform : the schools.
The government schools chosen in this project were a mix of primary, upper primary and secondary schools in different parts of Lucknow. Some primary schools lacked proper infrastructure like absence of desks for students, shabby rooms, broken boundary wall and inadequate space for games. Yet the students displayed considerable understanding and the dedication in some principals and teachers was exemplary. This allowed us to communicate the essentials of the environmental problems in a simple manner to the bright eyed students.
As we chose to focus on both awareness and action, it was important to get the students interested beyond attendance. Besides making the presentations interactive, stories of young Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, events around the UN General Assembly, Mann ki Baat of the Prime Minister helped to get their attention and participation. Construction of vermi compost pits using fly ash bricks helped in giving a practical dimension to the discussion.
An active interest taken by the students in adopting some changes like avoidance of plastic bags, sharing of the main learning in the school assembly and with parents/ grand parents, making committees to ensure food leftovers are disposed in the vermi compost pits gave us hope that the environment is now an understood subject for reflection and action.
We are grateful to the HCL foundation for supporting this effort and hope that such awareness raising and action opportunity is made available to as many schools as possible to help meet the climate change challenge.