Institutions are now focusing on teaching students the importance protecting the environment, finds Prachi Rege.
Teaching the youth the importance of maintaining ecological balance and ensuring sustainable development has become the new mantra on campuses across India. A Green committee has been formed at Great Lakes, for which applications are invited from interested students at the beginning of each year. While the committee is mentored by a faculty member, other teaching and non-teaching staff members also participate in this activity. "Our students spearhead activities like reducing paper consumption, sapling plantation, creating awareness about environment friendly practices, etc.," informs Bala V Balachandran, founder and dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management.
IIT-B every year celebrates, Vanmahotsav, where students, faculty members and residents of the campus together plant saplings at a designated spot within the campus. "Our initiative is not to save money or reduce our carbon foot-print, but to explore news ways to harness alternate and clean sources of energy,” says Devang V Khakhar, director, IIT-B.
Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Managment Development and Research, Mumbai too encourages students to come up with environment-friendly product ideas. The institute recently conducted a competition themed `Humanising A Metropolis` where participants from across the country along with international counterparts came up with innovative products to conserve water, mange household waste and create open spaces in the city. "Smart tap meters that monitor your water use at home, taps with regulators to help fight the laziness of closing the tap are some of the smart and responsible products that the students came up with," says Uday Salunkhe, group director, WeSchool.
Experts are of the opinion that a lot needs to be done in the space of environment sustainance. According to Amit Jathar, member of MOB, an NGO that works on water harvesting and recycling across Maharashtra, institutes restrict their eco-friendly activities only to follow UGC guideline or abide by municipal corporation`s norms regarding roof top harvesting. "Willingness to act voluntarily beyond guidelines and diktats is the need of the hour," he elucidates. "The awareness and enthusiasm in this direction is certainly growing and institutions are taking active measures for turning green," says Balachandran.