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Changemaker Under 18: How This 8th Grader Made Her School Campus Greener

Changemaker Under 18: How This 8th Grader Made Her School Campus Greener

This 8th grade student not only made her school ground green but also inspired other students to do composting and tree plantation. Know more about young Prachi who has done extra ordinary work at such a young age.

KGBV schools are residential schools with an objective to ensure quality education for the drop out girls of underprivileged families of our society.

Prachi is working on her green action plan to make her school campus greener.

Thanks to the girls' efforts, the school is transformed.
Thanks to the girls’ efforts, the school is transformed.

Her school shifted to a new building at Nandpur, Chinhut (Lucknow) in 2013. The ground of the new school was full of weeds like parthenium (gajar ghas) which had grown everywhere. Also, there was accumulation of water as the ground was at a lower level, and that used to make the land marshy and impossible to walk.

This ground was inhabited by various animals, insects, vermin and snakes. It was becoming a common sight to see snakes crawling in the backyard. KGBV students did not have a place to play as while playing, if a student’s skin comes in contact with the parthenium, it causes itching and rashes.

Prachi decided to take a lead to make her school ground green and provide the students a place to play.

Prachi and her friends first started removing the weeds from the ground.
Prachi and her friends first started removing the weeds from the ground.

For this, she created a group of 25 students. To get other students involved in her project, she presented a skit in front of the students and asked them to join her. Prachi, along with the students, carried out a cleanliness drive and rooted out all the weeds from the ground in a week’s time.

The school ground had Usar soil and due to water logging it was hard to plant saplings in it. To make a fertile top layer, fresh soil was added to the ground with the help of their warden as they are not allowed to go out of the campus.

After this, she carried out a plantation drive and planted saplings of 25 species provided by CEE under the Children’s Forest Programme (CFP).

The once dry ground now is lush green.
The once dry ground is now lush green.

Under CFP, students are made to bond with nature through nature camping and plantation drives. They are given saplings to plant, which they name and tie “Raksha sutra” to, promising to take care of the sapling.

Now Prachi and her friends have a vegetable garden in their school campus in which she has grown grams, brinjal, methi, soya, dhaniya, tomato, cabbage, etc. and also the plants that have aesthetic value.

They also formed a compost pit in which they put all the organic waste which is generated in the school. The manure formed from the compost pit is used to nourish the vegetable garden.

They also planted a vegetable garden in the ground.
They also planted a vegetable garden in the ground.

To make students recognise the plants and understand their importance, Prachi has labelled every plant. She has also pasted quotes on the walls of the ground, on the importance of plants, to motivate her juniors and friends to plant more trees.

The students had requested BSA to have a proper drainage system in their school which has been done now. All the water from hand pumps has been channeled to the garden area and the problem of water accumulation has been solved to an extent.

Understanding the critical role of students in motivating their own school, neighborhood and larger society to bring about change for Sustainable Development, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), a centre of excellence of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has launched the pilot phase of state level ‘Yuva Paryavaran Leader’ programme.
This programme is envisaged to short-list enthusiastic, self-motivated and environment-friendly students and guide them to identify an environmental problem/issue which pinches them the most and which they would like to solve through their very own efforts, and to mentor them in implementing their desired action project. Students of Uttar Pradesh studying in classes 8-11 and in the age group of 13-17 years who want to bring change in their immediate environment are eligible to participate. Following a process of selection through a series of steps (Online test, submission of essay and a project action plan) at the state level, a smaller group of students are selected as ‘Yuva Leaders’. This is the story of one of them.

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