Shaping of Young Green Warriors in Dhenkanal by Tata Steel Foundation

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  • Green School Project is implemented in association with TERI to create

awareness on environment

  • Working with around 1200 students from seven schools around Tata Steel Meramandali

Narendrapur, June 27, 2024: Debasmita Naik, studying in class x in Nuahata Upgraded High School of Nuahata panchayat was always interested in environment. But she did not know how she can learn more about it and contribute to protect it. But that all changed when my school, Nuahata High School, got selected to be a part of the Green School Project of Tata Steel Foundation (TSF), ” says an excited Debasmita Naik.

Debasmita recalls the day when the representatives from TSF visited their school and introduced the Green School project. “They explained to us how important it is to conserve our natural resources, reduce waste, and adopt sustainable practices. This really opened my eyes, and I became passionate about learning more and doing my part to care for the environment.”

Through the project, Debasmita and her classmates got the opportunity to attend interactive workshops and hands-on sessions on topics like energy conservation, water management, waste recycling, and protecting local biodiversity. “We learned so many new techniques that we could easily implement at home and in our school. It was amazing to see the transformation in myself and my peers as we became more aware and proactive.”

Recently, Debasmita was selected as one of the five students from the seven participating schools to represent the Green School initiative at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) organized by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) in New Delhi. “It was such an honor to share our journey and the positive impact of this project on our lives. I feel empowered to continue being a green warrior and inspire others in my community to join us in creating a sustainable future.”

The Green School project was initiated by the Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) in collaboration with New Delhi based The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) in April 2017. The project aims to develop pro-environment behavior among students (aged 12-14 years) and teachers through environmental education initiatives, leading them towards voluntary community actions for sustainable living.

The project is currently being implemented in seven schools adjacent to Tata Steel’s Meramandali operations in Dhenkanal district, Odisha. These schools are Kusupanda High School, Kurunti High School, Kurunti UP School, Khaliberena UP School, Khaliberana High School, Nuahata High School, and Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir Sarapa Raghunathpur.

Nilambar Sabar, a teacher from Kusupanga High School, expressed, “We are working towards inculcating a sense of conserving natural resources and energy among students from a very young age. TSF is doing novel work to help us further this among the students.”

Green Libraries have been set up in all participating schools, providing environmentally-sensitive books to over 1,200 young environment champions in these schools.

The Green School initiative integrates themes such as energy, water, forest, biodiversity, recycling waste, climate change, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to enable young individuals to advocate for the well-being of the planet by initiating behavioral changes. This aligns with the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) on environmental education.

The Green School initiative aims to make children from the remotest areas proactive towards sustainable behavior, empowering them to be the agents of change for a greener future.

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