India trip by 2 American teens leads to global cleanup project
India trip by two American teenager girls to attend science fairs led to a global project by youngsters from several countries for a cleaner and healthier environment.
Washington: India trip by two American teenager girls to attend science fairs led to a global project by youngsters from several countries for a cleaner and healthier environment.
During their two visits to New Delhi, the two young girls Allyson Edwards, 16, and Madison Jaco, 17, who are part of an international environmental science programme 'GLOBE', met students from all over the world and discussed what they could do as teenagers to protect the environment.
Students from India, Argentina, Benin, Croatia, France, and Nigeria joined the initiative and since then, the girls have been in contact with youngsters from all across the globe working to achieve their goal of a cleaner, healthier environment through local initiatives like Adopt-a-Highway.
'Generation Change', the film made by two teenagers after their trips to India, found specific mention by US President Barack Obama at the second White House Student Film Festival on Friday which was emceed by Indian-American actor Kal Penn.
"Two young women, Allyson Edwards and Madison Jaco, who adopted a highway to clean up the roads in their hometown of Hawkins, Texas. Where are these young ladies? Raise your hands. A little higher. There you go," Obama said at Film Festival, amidst applause as he identified the two teenagers from Texas.
The film was one of 15 films screened at the festival.
Praising their efforts, Obama said, "These two teenagers decided they wanted to make an even bigger impact, so they reached out to young people all across the globe, and this is part of the power of the Internet.?
"And now you have got groups in India, France, Nigeria, Benin, Argentina, all getting into the act -- cleaning up their schools and beaches and roads -- just because of these two young women," he said.?
Mentioning their film, Obama said, "And as Allyson and Madison say in their film, 'In today's society, we're often told how much we are different and how much divides us, but through our shared community service, we realised how much brings us together'. That's a profound statement, guys. I don't think I was that smart when I was your age."
Welcoming students to the second edition of the film festival, Obama said it is like the Sundance or Cannes of film festivals that are open to the public through a government website.
"It may also be the only film festival where one of the entrants has his tooth loose. And may pull it out right here at the ceremony," Obama joked, referring to the young participants at the festival.
The films screened, he said, is a great example of what happens when "we just unleash the skills and the imagination of America's young people."
"In this country, if we give all of our kids the best opportunities and technology and resources, there's no telling what they'll create -- now and the years ahead," he added.