Today most of our towns and cities are unable
to cope with the rapid pace of urbanisation. People do not
understand that it is their right to clean water to drink, clean
air to breathe, proper housing, education and health. We also
shun our responsibility of keeping our environment clean. It is
an acceptable fact that no government can keep cities clean by
mere enforcement of environmental laws. Public co-operation and
participation is vital for cleaner and greener cities.
We lead the way
" The child is the father of man "
and thus a powerful agent of education. The CLEAN-India
programme realizes the enormous potential hidden in the students
and youth group which is capable of changing the world.The
programme aims to mobilize community responsibility for
environmental assessment and improvement in all major towns and
cities of India.
Though school itself is a unit of the community, CLEAN-India is
not confined to schools. The programme envisages
learning for students through community service and scientific
investigation. This helps the youth discover and implement
lasting solutions to environmental issues in their community. It
also develops life-long habits of active citizenship and
TAKING ACTION AFTER ASSESSING ENVIRONMENTAL
In the water quality monitoring programme,
if students find the water quality to be poor they recommend
simple steps to improve the water quality. This can be as simple
as boiling water to using chlorine as a disinfectant. Follow-up
action undertaken include stream cleaning as in Shillong,
spreading awareness to avoid bathing and washing activities near
the water springs as in Berinag, to ensuring the school
authorities regularly keep the water tanks cleaned and
chlorinated in the schools. After testing water of school taps,
many schools have become more vigilant about maintaining the
cleanliness of the water tanks while a few schools have also
installed water purification systems.
Similarly after monitoring the air quality
with the help of Pawan TARA Kit, students have been
motivated to form car pools and coax their parents to get their
vehicles Pollution Checks performed regularly. Students have
also noted registration numbers of polluting vehicles on roads
and reported them to the concerned authorities.
CLEAN students have also spearheaded
campaigns of local relevance to enthuse local communities to
change their attitudes. Major issues which CLEAN students have
campaigned for, are the ill effects of the use of polybags and
toxic colours during Holi, implications of bursting
crackers during certain festivals and propagating environment friendly
way of idol immersion during certain festivals.
Once the students are convinced about the issues, they
actively campaign to further spread awareness in their own
school, neighbouring communities and even nearby schools.
Whether the medium is creative street plays, public hearings,
rallies, door to door signature campaigns, exhibitions or
competitions, CLEAN students have been highly successful in
spreading the message to more and more number of people.
With the help of CLEAN-Delhi, Ramjas School,
R.K.Puram, New Delhi along with neighbourhood schools carried
out a big campaign in their sector to make it a cracker free
zone. This Holi festival, many of our schools made and sold
natural colours to parents and others. Making paper bags from
old newspapers / notebooks, distributing them to shopkeepers and
urging them to stop using polybags, is an activity which many
schools undertake regularly in all CLEAN-India centres.
We care and we act…….
UNDERTAKING ENVIRONMENT IMROVEMENT ACTIONS
CLEAN students have over the years initiated
various action projects in schools and are gradually extending
it to the community. For implementing each project, CLEAN
provides equipment, technical expertise, and support at each
crucial stage, manuals and other information to the schools.
Experts assist the schools in understanding and implementing the
Plant, care, nurture and go green!
Many students have taken part in
afforestation drives where the emphasis extends beyond the act
of tree plantation. Students are taught how to take care
of trees and nurture them. After planting in school they return
home motivated to plant in their homes, parks and care more for
the existing trees. Students also take part in drives to remove
advertisements nailed into trees, remove tree guards from grown
trees and to de-tile pavements close to the tree trunk.
Clean,Collect,and compost !
Under the CLEAN’s solid waste management
project, students among other things, have gained
hands-on-experience in vermicomposting which shows
them effective ways of taking care of biodegradable waste. In
the process it brings alive the concepts learnt in class about
decomposition in nature and how earthworms function.
Clean up drives
schools, the compost produced is also sold to the parents. Few
schools are even providing earthworms and helping people of
nearby villages to initiate their own vermicomposting units. Clean-up
drives in local parks and markets are also organised in
which students very enthusiastically help in cleaning up and
drive home the message that adults should not indulge in
Adopt A Slum
Slums are a common feature of most urban cities in the
country. They give shelter to people with poor economic
conditions and the migrant population. They are characterised by
lack of education, high density of population, unhygienic
environment and sanitation, poor health and other
Through "Adopt A Slum" project
CLEAN-India aims to involve schools in the betterment of urban
slums ensuring sanitation, health care, better environment and
integrated development. It also aims to create awareness
regarding the status and problems of the urban slums among
students. To begin with, the students regularly monitor the
water quality and suggest remedial actions if required.
students then start various activities in the slums like
literacy campaigns, sourcing them with old books, clothes, and
stationary, educating the people about medicinal plants, etc.
Projects which have been implemented in their own school like
composting, paper recycling, etc. are also initiated in the
slums, as these would improve not only
the environment but also
their income. Other activities like the clean up drives, getting
eco - lavatories constructed, planting fruit bearing trees, etc.
are taken up gradually and as per the need.
CLEAN-India is a dynamic programme, which keeps evolving with
each formal or informal feedback received. Activities are
included or modified as per the demands of the students or the
local needs. For example in Shillong stream cleaning became
a major activity, while campaigning for Yamuna was a
priority in Delhi.
We are proud that we changed…….
The real success of the programme is visible
in the seemingly simple acts like: students exchanging books in a
new academic session thus indirectly saving paper and thereby also
the trees; switching off lights before leaving their classrooms;
closing a flowing tap even in public places; using natural
colours in Holi, etc . The achievement of CLEAN-India is
exemplified most when students opt for future studies in
subjects related to environmental sciences and more so continue
to be environmentally sensitive and active even in diverse
fields. Most of all, the programme has proven that indeed child
power can go a long way in bringing about attitudinal change in
the society. After all they are our future.