Catch them young to spread the green message
Children are keen learners and nation-builders of tomorrow.
Keeping this aspect in mind the American Center Kolkata, in collaboration with Earth Day Network and Banglanatak.com observed Earth Day with 80 school kids here today.
'Catch them young' is a tried and tested phrase. This was precisely what the organisers harped on during the day-long programme.
Ms Joanne Joria, Director of the American Center, told
on the margins that the project ran for one year, during which six workshops were conducted in Kolkata, Delhi and Jaipur.
"The theatre workshops for high school students sensitised them about environmental conservation and sustainable development. The project encouraged them to become model citizens and agents of change in their communities," Ms Joria said. She added that she was amazed at the local talent pool.
Students from schools including The New Horizon High School, Patipukur Pallisree Vidyalaya,Bidhannagar Government High School and Sir Syed Group of Schools actively participated in quiz contest and a skit highlighting the importance of trees.
Deputy Director Rachel Sunden who informed the students about 'green' career options, told UNI
that they work with various organisations to raise awareness about a clean and green environment.
'We can facilitate the process. Its upto the governments what they choose to do,' she said.
Ms Sayantani Raychaudhuri, general manager of Banglanatak.com, said 50 kids had been selected for the green championship. She said they tried to reach out to 'disadvantaged' schools.
'We try to orient them towards environmental issues. Theatre creates awareness about any topical issue. The kids have been performing in schools and their neighbourhoods, creating a positive impact,' she said.
Some of the students spoke of their post-theatre experiences saying a man decided to give up smoking and kids were enthusiastic about planting trees after watching their plays in their locality.
The programme marked the culmination of a $ 60,000 grant 'A Campaign for Green Cities' which Earth Day Network and Banglanatak.com received from the US Embassy in Delhi. The project mobilized a youth-led movement for positive action for sustainable urban development and raised awareness on environmental concerns through education and community advocacy.
India has emerged as a decisive environmental, social, economic and political power. Earth Day Network's India Programme, headquartered in Kolkata, is engaging partners to build and enhance the region's civic mobilization and leadership in the environmental movement.
The programme concluded with awards and certificates presented to the students by US Consul General Helen LaFave.
(Posted on 22-04-2014)