Newsletter : 1 February 2017 -31 March 2017 Vol. : 82


Schools are doing it!


Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2016

Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar is the annual award given to schools, teachers and students for excellent efforts in environment education and education for sustainable development through curricular classroom activities and action projects. Schools submitted entries from all over India and we were happy to see new schools sending in entries and existing schools sustaining and building existing projects.


Highlights of Reports 2016

The highlights are based on the reports received for Puraskar 2016. Schools, teachers and students have showed a great enthusiasm in doing projects and taking initiative towards experiential learning. Here’s sharing an overview of the highlights of reports for each category.

School Category

Schools played a supportive role in motivating teachers to teach by giving their students real life experiences evident in the classroom activities and action projects. Teachers have been able to design environment education projects showing clear curriculum linkages across subjects. Themes more commonly worked out this year were 'Water and Biodiversity, Waste (aligned with the Swachhagraha project on creating a culture of cleanliness). The most popular actions in waste were personal hygiene and toilet etiquettes, segregation of wet and dry wastes, litter free campus initiatives, cleanliness, whose responsibility? Etc. In the Energy theme measures to reduce electricity wastage was the popular action along with electricity consumption audits whereas the Culture and Heritage theme saw students celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly manner and visiting cultural and heritage sites. Understanding biodiversity in the local cortexes, maintaining biodiversity registers, building bird nests and plantation were most common projects in biodiversity theme. In the water theme, water flow, wastage and quality on campus was studied in details by students.


Teacher Category

Teachers this year have tried to link the activities and action projects more from awareness to learning and taking the experiences forward. Reports under Teacher’s category give a feel that project based learning approach is much easier for establishing curricular linkages. Teachers played a critical role towards developing skills in students like observation, survey, critical thinking, reasoning, team work, understanding the need for conservation of natural resources, sharing of resources and a sense of accountability and responsibility towards nature. Teachers also shared the concern for limitation of time and other works as a shortcoming to carry out the action projects as per their planning.





Student Category

Students this year submitted reports on projects ranging from plantation, cleaning of local water resources, understanding the wise use of energy and looking for renewal energy options taking examples from other countries, managing wastes in the school campuses and locality. Students spent more time trying to understand an issue before initiating action. Students have conducted extensive surveys for e.g. to understand what people think on waste generation and management and found that many treat this as an activity to be done by someone else with a few exception who took the onus to self. It was heartening to see report from a student of class 4th sending in entry this time spreading the message of planting more trees to the society. The school, teachers and parents played a crucial role to help the students in their projects to explore, discover, think, act, reflect and share their works.

The national jury for this year which will take place shortly is intended to provide insights from the rich experiences from exemplar school projects. The jury results will be declared in May 2017.



Swachhagraha, Completes One Year!

An initiative of Adani Foundation and Centre for Environment Education (CEE) as the Knowledge and Implementation partner, ‘Swachhagraha’ is about promoting civic consciousness among citizens through youth leaders. The programme is implemented in over 650 schools of Gujarat and plans to cater to 14 states of India in the coming academic year with the addition of the Youth component to it. Innovative impact stories such as making of cloth hand bags from unused clothes, recycling paper and plastic waste and creating pocket dustbins out of it, having a dialogue with vegetable vendors and insisting them to use dustbins, keeping the chairs on table after the class for the ease of cleaning staff to clean, reducing food waste from 25kgs a week to 5kgs, color coding the toilets to assess their condition etc have build up a movement against filth and litter in Gujarat. All initiatives have been led by children and has created ripple effects over multiple stakeholders. Swachhagraha aims to build a mass movement, where people do not tolerate dirt through a behavior change education approach.