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  e-newsletter of the Centre for Environment Education
ceenario 102
August 1-31, 2014
Prakriti Bus
Shri Abhishek Mishra, Hon’ble State Minister for Vocational Education and Skill Development launches the bus.

Prakriti Bus showcases biodiversity of Uttar Pradesh

A mobile exhibition bus titled Prakriti was launched on 2nd August 2014 at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in Uttar Pradesh. Launched by Shri Abhishek Mishra, Hon’ble State Minister for Vocational Education and Skill Development, at Lucknow, the bus has been developed as a collaborative effort of the Uttar Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (UPSBB), Lucknow University and the Centre for Environment Education (CEE).

The launch event began with a poster making competition on the theme of “Biodiversity: Our Wealth, Our Responsibility". More than 220 students from 14 schools participated in this competition. The formal launch of the bus happened with the ribbon-cutting and releasing of balloons, following which the CEE team explained the bus panels to the Chief Guest and other dignitaries.

A formal event took place in the auditorium, during which Mr. Sharad Gaur made a presentation on the importance of biodiversity conservation education and using the bus as an educational resource.

Prof. Mishra addressed the children and talked about the power of thinking. He appealed to the students to think beyond the boundaries, and think on how we could correlate with biodiversity in our lives. Shri V. N. Garg, Agriculture Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment, Government of Uttar Pradesh, spoke about the necessity of knowledge and information on biodiversity in the present scenario. Winners of the poster competition were given prizes at end of the event.

Paryavaran Saathi
‘Paryavaran Saathi – An Online Support for Educators’

‘Paryavaran Saathi – An Online Support for Educators’ launched

In August 2014, CEE completed 30 years of momentous work in the field of environment education. To mark the milestone in CEE’s journey, the Paryavaran Mitra programme launched the ‘Paryavaran Saathi’ – an online communication platform for educators. A pioneering step at providing online support for educators to effectively transact EE/ESD in schools, this service will use the internet and mobile telephone to resolve the queries of the educators. The online tool will also help in the recognition and understanding of the challenges educators face, and promote improved EE/ESD inputs in trainings and resource materials. The service, which is initially being made available in 4 languages: English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarat, can be availed by calling the toll free number 1800-3000-0996. The service will also be made available in all major Indian languages, soon.

Also, on the momentous occasion of CEE’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, Paryavaran Mitra put forth an enlightening conversation with Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director – CEE, on the extensive work done in the school education system. From the field level to the policy level, Shri Sarabhai shared his thoughts on learning from nature, the role of teachers as facilitators in creating engaging learning spaces to empower the students to take handprint actions, and his vision for Environment Education and Education for Sustainable Development in schools. The video can be viewed here .

Teacher Training
213 eco-club in-charges attended the training workshops which focused on education for sustainable development in schools.

Teacher Training workshops organized in Rajasthan

Under the Paryavaran Mitra program, CEE Jaipur, in collaboration with Rajasthan State Bharat Scouts and Guides, organized training workshops at eight locations in Rajasthan, in the month of August 2014. The training program focused on “Earthian 2014” and “Sustainability Education Initiative Campaign”, both focusing on education for sustainable development in schools.

Earthian 2014, a Wipro Limited Initiative, is a national program to develop better understanding of issues related to water and sustainability, through project-based learning in schools. This program requires the students to engage in a common set of activities related to water trail, quality, demand and conservation in their immediate environment.

“Sustainability Education Initiative Campaign”, on the other hand, focuses on biodiversity conservation, by engaging students in tree plantation and other creative activities. The training workshop included a session on project based learning and actionable ideas as curricular projects in context of the state text books, which can be done within the school and the community. The training was facilitated via various interactive and experience-based teaching-learning methods, like games and demonstrations. A discussion on the documentation and reporting for these activities was also held during the program. 213 eco-club in-charges attended these programs at Bikaner, Bhilwara, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Sawai Madhopur, Sirohi, and Udaipur.

State level ECO-Baal Mela organized in Chhattisgarh

ECO-Baal Mela
A group presentation in progress during the 3-day event.

Nearly 180 students (eco-club members) and their guide teachers from different districts of Chhattisgarh participated in the 3-day state-level ECO-Baal Mela, organized in August.

Mr. Devendra Singh, IAS, Member Secretary, Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (NGC-Nodal agency) shared the Department’s initiative with the Forest Department CAMPA, of starting nature camping for students and teachers in 8 different forest locations. The lodging and boarding for 3 days, at the camp, would be free for Government schools, while a nominal fee would be charged from private schools.

Chief Guest, Shri. Rajesh Munnat, Hon. Minister of Environment and Housing, Government of Chhattisgarh, encouraged the department to organize Eco-Baal Melas in other districts of the State, so that the schools located in remote areas could also participate.

Eco-clubs were given the opportunity to put forth their work through presentations, reports, albums and stalls, even as they actively took part in various on-the-spot competitions like painting, essay writing and speech. The CEE Chhattisgarh State office also conducted an activity by dividing the children into 5 groups, who were, along with a teacher guide, assigned the task of conducting on-the-spot audit in their respective areas. The Water group audited the leaky taps and wastage of water in the premises, while the Energy group listed the number of fans and lights that were left switched on in the premises. The Waste management group identified how the use of plastic glasses and bowls could be minimized, while the Biodiversity and Culture & Heritage groups visited a nursery and the Doodhadhari Temple respectively. The best Eco-clubs and winners of the on-the-spot competitions were awarded by the Chief Guest.

Re-launch of NGC
NGC Overview presentation by CEE North

Re-launch of NGC in Uttar Pradesh

A formal launch ceremony of National Green Corps (NGC) was organized jointly by the newly appointed State nodal agency Directorate of Environment and the former nodal agency UP Pollution Control Board, along with CEE North.

The launch event, which took place in the auditorium of City Montessori School, Gomtinagar, Lucknow, witnessed participation from over 250 students and teachers, from 17 different schools. Ms. Preeti R. Kanaujia, Regional Coordinator of CEE North, briefed the audience about the NGC programme and its structure. She explained the process of formation and the role of eco-clubs. Shri Mani Prasad Mishra, Special Secretary, Department of Secondary Education, Uttar Pradesh, graced the occasion and ensured that due support will be provided from the Department of Secondary Education for the implementation of NGC activities throughout the state.

The Chief Guest of the event Shri V. N. Garg, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said that the programme had been resumed after a gap of 7-8 years, and shared his thoughts on how NGC could now be effectively implemented by learning from past mistakes. Shri Garg stressed on how resource agencies like CEE could support the effective implementation of NGC activities by providing resource material, training and other technical inputs. He also launched a web page on the NGC programme in Uttar Pradesh.

Jagrut Jan Sanman 2014
Mr. Neelam Patel being awarded the ‘Jagrut Jan Sanman 2014’ award for his extensive work for the tribal population.

Gram Shilpi Neelam Patel awarded ‘Jagrut Jan Sanman-2014’

The Gram Shilpi (GS) programme of the Rural Programmes Group of CEE aims at cadre building for sustainable rural development, based on the Gandhian philosophy of development, and in partnership with Gujarat Vidyapith. At present, there are nearly 10 Gram Shilpis working in different regions of Gujarat, and one based in Uttar Pradesh. The youth who work as Gram Shilpi make a long-term commitment of being based in a rural area and working for its overall development.

Mr. Neelam Patel is one such Gram Shilpi, who has been working since 2007. He has based himself at Khoba, a remote tribal village in Dharampur Taluka of Valsad District, and his work focuses on education, health, conservation of forests, and empowering youth.

For his dedicated work, Mr. Neelam was awarded the ‘Jagrut Jan Sanman 2014’. This is an annual award given by the Jagrut Jan Trust, honouring individuals for their outstanding social contribution. Neelam Patel has been awarded for his remarkable work for the tribal population of his village, as well as neighbouring villages.

Go Green Ganesha
Children making eco-friendly clay idols of Lord Ganesha.

‘Go Green Ganesha’ – A Safe Festival campaign to sensitize kids

CEE celebrated an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi with their ‘Go Green Ganesha’ campaign on 26th and 27th August, 2014. The two-day campaign, which included workshops for primary and pre-primary school students, focused on sensitizing the young minds about the detrimental effects of this beloved festival.

Traditionally, Ganesh Chaturthi was a small and intimate family affair where people used the fertile soil from river banks to create their own Ganesha idols. However, the festival has gradually evolved into a large-scale commercial and community-based event, which includes setting up of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris, standing as tall as 70 feet. These idols are later submerged in the river water, as per the tradition. But, being non-biodegradable, these idols cause extensive water pollution.

The ‘Go Green Ganesha’ campaign at CEE was an attempt to make the children realize the hazardous impact of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in this manner. Through presentations and stories, they were acquainted of the legend of Lord Ganesha, and further, taught the value of celebrating the festival without hurting the environment. The children also enjoyed the art of making eco-friendly clay idols of Lord Ganesha.

Children are important harbingers of change, and with this campaign, CEE hopes to instil in them the importance of environment-friendly activities. Nearly 250 students participated in this campaign, which intended at reviving the traditional way of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, without compromising on the enjoyment quotient.

Snake awareness program
Snake awareness program conducted by Sundarvan for ladies club members at Sonadih Cement Plant, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.
Snake Awareness Program for Institutions and Industries

Sundarvan conducted a snake awareness program for the staff of Bidaj Farm of Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala. Nearly 50 participants attended this program which was conducted at Sundarvan. A similar kind of program for the staff of Redbricks school, located at Santej, was conducted on 23rd August. General information on snakes, commonly-seen snakes of Ahmedabad, venomous and non-venomous, precautions to avoid snakebite, snakebite and treatment, myths and facts, ecological role and conservation issues were shared with the participants.

A snake survey and awareness program was also conducted at the Sonadih cement plant of Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd., located in Chhattisgarh, from 27th August to 3rd September. Ten snake species including python were recorded in their premises, while nearly 40 reptiles, including four common monitor lizard Varanus bengalensis, were rescued and relocated in nearby areas during the above period. Six awareness programs were also conducted for people from different walks of life, including employees, school children and ladies club members.

More than 250 teachers from different cities across Uttar Pradesh attended the workshops.

Earthian – Paryavaran Mitra workshops conducted in Uttar Pradesh

CEE North organized a series of four teachers training workshops across Uttar Pradesh, as part of the 'Earthian' and Paryavaran Mitra Program 2014. Focusing on the central theme of 'Water and Sustainability', the workshop was attended by more than 250 teachers from Allahabad Kaushambi, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Pilibhit and Lucknow.

The objective of these workshops was to develop an understanding among teachers about environmental education, its curriculum linkage, components of 'Earthian' and Paryavaran Mitra Program and the role of schools in participating and implementing these programs in their respective schools and communities.

The first workshop, which was held in Lucknow and in association with Regional Science City, Lucknow, had Mr. A. K. Bhargava, Retired Scientist from Central Ground Water Board, sharing the importance, and his experience, on rainwater harvesting. The next one was organized at Pilibhit with support from Mr. T. H. Khan who is the NGC master trainer of the district. He spoke about the importance of a teacher in motivating the children to take initiatives. The third workshop was held in Kaushambi, while the fourth one was organized in collaboration with Bharat Uday Education Society, Meerut.

Project 1600
Students interacting with the communities living along the coastline. They observed, recorded and identified the major sustainability concerns of these communities.
Place-based learning for schools under the Global Citizenship for Sustainability (GCS Marine) – Project 1600

Janki Teli and Chintan Purohit, Project Officers in Paryavaran Mitra of CEE, facilitated the place-based learning for 6 schools which participated in the Global Citizenship for Sustainability (GCS Marine) – Project 1600, between 21st August and 29th August. The schools included Tata Chemicals, DAV Public School - Mithapur, Adani DAV Public School - Mundra, NVN Essar School - Jamnagar, Aditya Birla Public School - Veraval, MMEW High School - Mangrol and Kendriya Vidyalaya – Diu. During the period, students interacted with the communities living along the coastline, and observed, recorded and identified the major sustainability concerns of these communities and the marine ecosystem. Building on this, the CEE mentors guided the students to develop their action plans.

Teachers found this place-based learning feature of GCS helpful in developing the students' ability for critical thinking, contextualizing academic knowledge for field applications, appreciating differences in opinion and being able to perceive the concept of sustainability through the social, economic, environmental and cultural aspects found along their coast. The GCS Schools will now share and discuss their action plans and implementation experiences with a paired school from Australia, further developing their global outlook on local sustainability concerns. This will be facilitated through the interactive GCS Website. For more information and participation/partnership in GCS Marine, contact at, Website:


CEE is the ENVIS centre on Environmental Education (EE). As an ENVIS centre, CEE caters to the information needs of environmental educators. Write to the CEE ENVIS Centre at

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© CEE 2014 Editorial team: Bindu Prashanth, Design: Pankaj Gorana