Towards a Greener, Cleaner World
Sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ; Sarve santu nirāmayāḥ
Sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu; Mā kashchit duḥkha bhāgbhavet
‘May all be prosperous and happy, May all be free from illness,
May all see what is spiritually uplifting, May no one suffer.
A 16-YO global icon of climate activism, Ms Greta Thunberg took on national and international leaders with her speech at the United Nations Climate Summit on 23rd September 2019.
Closer home, Vision Prabaho, a team of green evangelists of IIT Kharagpur, is making an effort in their little way to promote climate consciousness in and around the campus. The team, under the aegis of the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, IIT Kharagpur, organised ‘Green Chintan’ – an environmental workshop on poster and model / prototype competition on 26th September, for school students (classes V-VI and IX-XII). More than 60 students demonstrated models and posters on Rain Water Harvesting, Hydraulic Lifter, Biogas Production and River Cleaner.
Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Chief Guest at the event, took to the microphone congratulating each participating team individually and assuring them all-round assistance in implementing their models on a larger scale. He requested Vision Prabaho members to help these children take their ideas forward to turn them into reality.
Prof. Saamdu Chhetri, Guest of Honour at the event, came up with one unique explanation. “What is ‘Bhagavān’”, he asked. “God”, rumbled a few students. The description that followed surprised not only students but also a few adults present at the S.N. Bose Auditorium.
He divided the word into individual letters. ‘Bh’ for Bhoomi – The Earth, ‘G’ for Gagan – the Sky, ‘A’ for Agni – Fire, ‘Va’ for Vayu – the Wind and ‘N’ for Neer – Water. “All living creatures on this planet are made up of these five elements. When we fail to value any one of these, we end up harming ourselves. We live in a symbiotic relationship with nature. Man can never live in isolation,” he said.
Prof. Anuradha Choudry addressed the topic of soul-cleansing. She explained that without a clean mind and clean soul, one can never strive to attain a clean society or the environment thereof on a larger scale.
On these lines, a mythological story was narrated by Prof. Jenia Mukherjee. The story traced the formation of the world’s largest delta – the Sunderbans, conveying a subtle hint on water conservation. Prof. Mukherjee stated that the contribution of rivers in our lives was a part of our cultural identity. She invited students to visit the wetlands in Kolkata and see how these wetlands function in relation to the 750 million litres wastewater generated daily by the city itself. The students listened with awe as she explained wastewater management procedures undertaken by the fishermen and farmers with their local skill and knowledge, leading to the production of more than 22 tonnes of fish and 40 tonnes of vegetables on a regular basis.
DAV Model School walked away with the trophy and a cash award for the Best School. Other prizes included Poster Competition and Model/Prototype Making.
Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik wrapped up the session with his pearls of wisdom. He mentioned that the rapid depletion of natural resources is posing an ever-increasing global threat. It is high time people became more responsible towards the environment and strived to make it a better, safer place for our future generations.