Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam former President and Paryavaran Ambassador of India launched the Paryavaran Mitra, a climate change and sustainability education initiative, aiming to reach 2 lakh schools in the country, in Pune on Sunday.

The program plans to create 2 million Paryavaran Mitra among children in schools. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India and Centre for Environment Education (CEE) with support from ArcelorMittal. Director of Education, Govt of Maharashtra Mr DC Deshmukh and TRTI Commissioner Dr AK Jha were also present and committed their support to the program. The event took place at Yashada.

Children from four states of India- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Maharashtra participated in this regional launch and presented their work through exhibitions of posters and models showcasing the outcomes of their green actions. Dr Kalam administered an Environmental Oath to the children to take actions for the benefit of their local environment. He also released a Braille version of the Environment Oath.

Paryavaran Mitra Phase I will run from 2010 to 2013. Schools wishing to join can fill in the enrolment form available on the Paryavran Mitra website (www.paryavaranmitra.in)