Don Bosco Eco Concerns
Don Bosco Eco Concerns, an initiative by Don Bosco Tiruchy, India has been promoting Green Lifestyles in Don Bosco Campuses with a specific 10 Point Green Point Programme. These Green Programmes are aimed at educating and empowering young people to protect and nurture the planet.
10 Point Green Programme
1. Increasing Green Cover
2. Reduction in the use of non-degradable materials
3. Increasing the usage of renewable sources of energy
4. Zero wastage in the campus
5. Promotion of Organic Farming, Home Vegetable and Herbal gardens
6. Preserve and conserve water
7. Clean and Green Environment
8. Healthy Organic Food Habits
9. Usage of Eco friendly products
10. Environment Education for all
Don Bosco Eco Clubs
A strategy used by DB Eco Concerns to achieve its agenda is the promotion of Eco Clubs. These Eco Club educate and sensitize children on environment issues; they enhance social skills to think and work as collectives and involve the children in environment protection activities in the communities. An Eco Club constitutes of 20-25 young people and is led by a leader. An adult facilitator will serve as eco-educator and guide. Each club meets at least once a month. During their monthly gatherings, they have environmental classes, group discussions and debate, evaluation of previous months activities and plan for next month. Each Eco Club maintains a record of events, minutes register, and member attendance register.
No. of districts reached out 20
No. of institutions involved 25
No. of eco clubs promoted 195
No. of student members 4120
Environmental Education provides important opportunities for children to become engaged in real global environmental issues that transcend local problems. They acquire right knowledge, skills and attitudes to be creative problem solvers and powerful advocates of sustainable development.
Environment education books have been prepared by DB Eco Concerns and every eco club member goes through this curriculum. The syllabus covers right understanding of the universe, nature and its resources, eco system, bio-diversity, environmental problems and possible ways of addressing it. Necessary text books, exercise books and visual media materials are used as aids for this environmental education.
All Eco Club members engage in exposure visits to places of environmental relevance and learning, organic farms, national parts, bird sanctuaries, exhibitions, social forests, locations of rich bio-diversity, water bodies, etc. These visits serve as an effective way of learning by observing, interaction and contact.
Increasing the Green Cover
Tree Plantation drive is one of the main activities of the Eco Club members. In most villages children themselves develop and nurture nurseries. Most of the tree plantation drives are organized before the onset of monsoon. The Eco Club, with the support of the local people, organizes an event to distribute tree saplings for planting. Necessary protective fencing is provided to protect the saplings from stray animals. Proper watering and maintenance is ensured by eco club members.
Exhibitions and competitions are good means to develop innovative and creative thinking on various environmental aspects. Children are encouraged to develop, exhibit and explain creative models and themes on environment and ecological issues at local and zonal level.
Awareness Promotion Rallies and Campaigns
Regular awareness programmes and rallies are organized in the villages and cities. Pamphlets and placards, banners are prepared and educative handouts are distributed to the general public to sensitize them on avoiding throw away plastics, motivate proper disposal of wastes; to make them realize the effects of discarding wastes on the streets or dumping on the nearby vacant lands and to educate them about the health hazards of unhygienic practices and open defecation.
Eco club members select locations in the living area to organize for a clean-up drive. Community leaders, civic groups, voluntary organizations and especially local people are encouraged to involve in these clean-up drives to ensure sustained clean surroundings.