SwitchON Foundation initiated its Inter School Clean Air Championship Program through a waste management drive in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar : SwitchON Foundation on the occasion of Nature Conservation Day, initiated its Inter School Clean Air Championship Program through a waste management drive and a virtual meet across the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. This initiative is supported by the Clean Air Toolbox Program of Columbia University, New York. There are multiple organizations supporting the interschool clean air championship program like Earth Day Network, WWF, Garbage free India, National Museum of Natural History, Ministry of Forest Environment and Climate Change.

In line with the theme of Nature Conservation Day, i.e Sustaining People and Planet, the selected schools kicked off the Championship by participating in a Waste Management Drive where the children collected wastes from their home like plastic, cardboards, bottles, e- wastes like earphones, headphones, broken parts of appliances or electronics and collected and segregated it at their schools and handed it over to the recyclers or rag pickers. Through this initiative, the children added to the circular economy by reducing and recycling the waste at their level. Children also took up activities like plantation, awareness sessions and competitions on best from waste. Schools from Odisha like Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Bhubaneswar; Harishchandra Nodal High School, Puri; Itibuan High School; Buckley Girl’s High School etc participated in the Waste management drive engaging children.

Mr. Vinay Jaju, Managing Director of SwitchON Foundation said, “SwitchON Foundation believes that children and youth are leaders of tomorrow, it is crucial for them to understand the significance of sustainable living and take concrete steps to address the issue of air pollution. One of the significant ways to sustain the planet is to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.”

A virtual meet was also organized by SwitchON with the selected schools of Inter-School Clean Air Championship Program. The virtual Program brought together the school students, teachers and the eminent government officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change department of the states where they provided valuable insights and facilitated meaningful discussions on air pollution and climate change.

Dr. K. Murugesan, IFS, Director, Enviroment cum Special Secretary, Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department, Govt. of Odisha said, “The Inter-School Clean Air Championship championed by SwitchON Foundation is a commendable initiative to help galvanize schools & children come together for a cleaner and healthier future.”

Mr. Gaurav, Senior Scientist, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change, Govt of India stated, “Air pollution is a serious health concern and it affects all of us, but children are particularly at risk. Building awareness amongst children and youth is the key, because they can help mobilize family and friends to take action on the issue. I congratulate SwitchON Foundation for their work on the issue of air pollution and climate change.”

Smt. Sushma Panda, Principal, Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Bhubaneswar commented, “We are glad that SwitchON Foundation is working on the pressing environmental issues like air pollution and waste management and generating a sense of awareness amongst the children about the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle. This will generate a positive habit of managing waste at their home and also at school.”

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