Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Walk It Like You Talk It!

Sudhiksha Kaushik, Gold Award Participant from Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur found garbage handling is one of the challenging areas in India. She decided to work for the same and succeeded in setting up the examples. Sudhiksha is sharing a report here.

"I love nature. I love to be in it. It is beautiful, permanent and beyond us." These words from Marshall Vian Summers are the true expression of my feelings. A trip to the beautiful hill station of Shimla in the lap of Himalayas in class 6th with my family was my love at first sight with nature. The beauty of this place left such a great impact on my tender mind that I decided to take up environment conservation at school. Conserving environment became my passion and I started encouraging others too by my 'walk it like you talk it' attitude.

My father’s career in Merchant Navy got me to travel since a very young age, because of which I was exposed to the efficient garbage management and was intrigued about the details kept in mind in respect to the aspects of cleanliness displayed on board my father’s ships and in various countries I travelled to. Gradually I started to draw comparisons between the waste management in my country and the countries I had visited. In Ohiri Park at Hakata in Japan I saw how people cleaned their dog’s faeces when they took their dogs for a walk, in the U.S.A, I saw how people followed the laws made by the government and also actively participated in all programs related to the upkeep of the environment, in Singapore, I saw how people never littered around. This difference led me to work towards sensitizing people in my city about environment conservation and cleanliness. My endeavour is to break the taboo surrounding garbage handling in my country.

I knew that the task I have taken is difficult for a young kid but the determination to see my city as clean as the cities of the developed countries led me to do things that many children of my age are not even bothered about. In the beginning, people were not very accepting of my vision. They were least concerned about littering and polluting the environment as they assumed that it was not harming them directly. They believe that it is the duty of the government to take care of environment conservation. I started to persuade people to be concerned about the environment by organizing various activities like e-waste collection drives, cleanliness drives, and old books, clothes and shoe collection drives, etc. For organizing all these activities I, along with my younger sister started an organization called ‘R4 – Our fore vision’ which is a registered NGO today. Eventually, people started joining my drives. My teachers started talking about my initiatives in school and my peers began helping me spread awareness about environment conservation. I was declared the Environmentalist of The Year in the 9th and 11th standard. Our NGO ‘R4- Our Fore Vision’ has partnered with the biggest marathon in our city called Jaipur Marathon and the biggest theatre festival in the city called Jairangam as their cleanliness partners where people were motivated for garbage segregation and cleanliness by our volunteers. We arranged for the disposal of the collected garbage to the recycling centre.

The Clean India Mission launched under the leadership of our honourable Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi increased my determination to take this cause even to grass root level. This has resulted in people accepting the responsibility for the cleanliness of their surroundings. Today many households in my residential society compost their kitchen waste using the low-cost composter called 'Golden Pot' developed by me and my sister. I am proud to say that through my initiatives I have brought about a change in the mindset of the students of my school and the people I have interacted with. I know that I have succeeded in my endeavour when I see the students in my school not only support my cleanliness mission but also help promote it. Click for more pictures ...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Special Project Gold Adventurous Journey

Visually Challenged Gold Award Participants from Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Narendrapur, completed their Adventurous Journey. Chandan Majumder, Award Leader and Mentor, is sharing a brief report on this journey.

The Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy, Narendrapur, is associated with the International Award for Young People, India since 2002. A sizable number of participants completed their Award Journey and have achieved the Award in the last 15 years.

Very recently 14 Gold Award participants went to Maldevta hills, Dehradun, to take part in an expedition camp from 16th to 19th October, 2017. They started on 14th October 2017 by Doon Express and returned to Kolkata on 21st October 2017.

The expedition itself is very exciting always to all the participants. It was very special as this is the first time, the camp was organized in North India at a marvellous location. As these participants cannot see, naturally the job is very tough for the instructors. But they were so experienced, dedicated and attentive, the participants always felt very comfortable and got a lot of confidence.

The participants took part in Commando Net Climbing, Single Rope, Burma Bridge, Gheel scrambling, etc., in the camp. They trekked 2 days up the high hill and entered a natural cave on the hill, which was very exciting to these visually challenged participants. The participants walked 1.5 km through the river Song, which was very tough as well as tremendously exciting. It was tough because the water flow was swift and the rocky river-bed was very slippery. They jumped from the high bridge on the river. All the activities were thrilling and also new to the participants.

This Adventurous Journey helped to boost the confidence of these participants through different types of activities during the camp. They developed skills of Leadership, Punctuality, Honesty and Togetherness, which are very important for them to be well-rounded and sensitive people in the future. Click here for more pictures