Wrath of Nature

In the cloudburst and subsequent flash floods on 5-6 August 2010 in Ladakh about 180 people died and many are still missing. A death toll of 180 for a total of just 1,20,000 Ladakhi population (census figure that also includes people from outside) is quite high. Besides this figure of local people, a large number of migrant laborers suffered casualities and unfortunately there is no record of the toll.

Hospitals, schools, bus stands, office buildings got damaged badly, crippling life in Ladakh.

Almost 40-50 percent of roads and bridges have been washed away, making the rescue and relief work very difficult. There is 0.91-1.82 m of silt deposited in the affected areas, and now there is dust all around creating another health hazard.

Agricultural fields which had almost ready crops of wheat, barley, mustard, potato and alfalfa got silted by over 1.83 meters and deposited with boulders, destroying the crops and fields. Water reservoirs, irrigation canals and channels got severely damaged. Loss of livestock is also considerable.

CEE Himalaya team immediately rushed to Leh and carried out a needs assessment. Immediate interventions required are in the fields of psycho-social care, arranging irrigation for the left over crops, restoring irrigation systems, shelter, schools retrofitting and construction, and livelihood. Winter is very harsh in the area and will set in after two months.

CEE's efforts are on to garner support to do the rehabilitation work for the affected people. CEE Himalaya Team is present in Leh and is part of the NGOs' Coordination Committee.

Planning Environment Programmes to Help Light up Billion Lives

The Humana People to People India (HPPI) is based in Delhi , and is working in different States of India focusing on community development with solar energy illumination. This project is done by HPPI in technical association with TERI under the campaign “Lighting up Billion Lives”.

For its UP initiative, HPPI approached CEE North for providing technical inputs in planning environment education programmes in schools.

A s part of the discussion, CEE North conducted a four-day training module 8 member from 17-20 August for the field team of HPPI to train them in implementing environment education programme in 100 schools of 4 project districts.

The training module aimed at developing an understanding on environment and development issues and importance of environment education; planning teacher training programme in their project locations, and helping the team to design annual environment school activity calendar and action projects at school level. CEE will be giving regular inputs to the field team in taking up the EE programme in the project villages.

Hands-on learning to teach about environment

Green Actions

A Hand Print Action to Recycling Waste Paper

A group of 25 students along with their teachers from Riverside school visited CEE to understand the concept and use of paper recycling. The session discussed talked about how they could move from disposal to paper recycling in-house. The main objective is to promote the habit of recycling in schools and using the resources more sustainably. Children also enjoyed a 45 minute Nature Trail and took part in some environmental education activities which was further discussed on. The two hour orientation session was facilitated by CEE's Information and Facilitation Centre ( IFC ).

Best out of waste!

Teachers' Day Out

Teacher Orientation - hands on experience

75 primary teachers from different districts of Ahmedabad visited CEE as part of District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) teachers training workshop. The two-day programme was planned to orient teachers to EE, and included discussions on how activities could be conducted with children and how each of their schools could be a part of CEE programmes like Paryavaran Mitra.

‘As Tiger is to Forest , Dolphin is to Ganges '

Presence of the Ganges river dolphin represents the health of the river ecosystem. Being the only mammalian predator of the Ganges which is exclusively aquatic, it occupies the apex of the food chain and plays a vital role in maintaining the essential balance of its ecosystem. In spite of being a flagship species, representing an ecosystem in need of conservation, its status has become a matter of serious concern to its existence over the past few decades.

Looking at the urgency and also to focus on the conservation of this magnificent species, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests has declared the Ganges river dolphin as National Aquatic Animal on 5 October 2009 .

CEE with the support from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has initiated a two-year project on Ganges river dolphin in the north and north eastern region of India, where 20 locations are being identified.

CEE believes that species focused conservation education with schools can be a key part of public awareness and education programme which can help in promoting protection of Ganges river dolphins.

CEE team is visiting various dolphin habitat locations in UP ( Allahabad , Bahraich - ‘Katarniaghat Santcturay', Narora) and in Bihar ( Bhagalpur – ‘Vikramshila Dolphin Sanctuary', Patna , Arra, Vaishali). CEE is also identifying partner agencies and schools who will work in these locations, focusing on conservation education. The programme aims to reach to 500 schools in these 20 locations.

CEE North, has since its inception, adopted the Ganges river dolphin as its symbol .

Good Governance and Community Participation

State governments in India are required to ensure community participation in local urban governance, as part of the reforms under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JnNURM).

CEE Urban, Janwani, Sadbhavana Sangh and Yashada organized a workshop in Pune on 18 August 2010 , to discuss the changes that have been made in the state laws governing urban local bodies in Maharashtra in accordance with this conditionality. The delegates included NGOs and citizens groups, and students.

Active citizens' participation

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, a noted Right to Information Act and Improved Governance advocate was a keynote speaker at the workshop. He critiqued the implementation of the Nagar Raj or Area Sabha bill saying, ‘why would citizens participate in Area Sabhas if no powers are given to manage our own neighbourhoods'.

Other speakers including elected representatives Mr. Santosh Kumar from Delhi and Mr. Maruti Bhapkar from Pimpri Chinchwad shared their experiences of trying to enhance citizens' participation which provided insights into the limitations of both the institutional form as well as practice of democratic governance at the local level in cities.

A set of recommendations, which include the need for state-wide consultations, have been prepared and are being submitted to a study group set up by Government of Maharashtra in relation to this legislation.

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi the eco-friendly way

CEE Andhra Pradesh State Office with support from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) is conducting education-cum-awareness programmes in 30 schools of Hyderabad and Medak from 2 to 10 September towards the celebration of eco-friendly Ganesh Festival.

Celebrations:- the Eco -festival way

As part of this programme, environmental benefits of using clay idols instead of Plaster of Paris idols are being demonstrated to the students, along with the information about the significance of using clay idols and natural colours, harmful effects of synthetic colours, importance of water bodies, different types of patris used in the Ganesh festival and their biological importance, etc.

Nagarika - a mobile resource van on Municipal Solid Waste Management is also being displayed in the schools to create awareness among the students.





Green Drive

NCC officials participating in tree planting

CEE MP Office has been actively involved and conducted plantation drive in association with ZEE NEWS and representatives of Nehru Yuva Kendra .

The first activity, on 25 August was the plantation of more than 100 saplings at Youth Hostel Association, Nehru Yuya Kendra(NYK), Bhopal . The chief guest of the programme was Mr. Dhanraja (Assistant Collector), Bhopal . More than 120 participants from school, college, general public, NGOs and media were present.

The second activity was carried out at Government Higher Secondary School , Itkhedi, Berasia, Bhopal where more then 500 students (boys and girls) from class 6 to 12 participated in plantation drive and oath taking ceremony. 100 Tulsi (Basil) plants were planted by students at their homes.

Plantation was also done by Mahila Mandal, NYK, Village Hinauti, where more than 250 plants were planted by village youths and public. Joseph and Dilip from CEE MP Office facilitated the events with partners.

A session on Environmental Games & Climate Change was conducted with 3 MP Battalion NCC Rewa, M.P. at Maihar, Satna,M.P. on the occasion of combined annual training camp on 27 August. More than 430 students and NCC officials participated in the program. The 320 saplings included medicinal plants like Alovera, Chitrak, Ashwagandha, Lajwanti, Tulsi, etc.