ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION PROJECT AT W.H. SMITH MEMORIAL SCHOOL, VARANASI
Visit to Kyoto-
W. H. Smith Memorial School collaborated with OISCA International in the year 2017. A five members delegation from W.H. Smith Memorial School comprising of 3 students Akriti, Precious Conrad Chattree and Aditi Ashish, a Senior teacher Mrs. Rakhi Verma and the Principal Dr. Anita Pauline Dey visited Kyoto, Japan along with Mr. Ranjeet Singh Chauhan, Project Manager, OISCA North India from 10th September 2017 to 15th September 2017.
The main objective of this project was to raise public awareness about environment both in Varanasi and Kyoto through children and their involvement in activities to promote environment conservation focusing on cleaning River Ganga.
This educational trip emphasized on learning by doing. During their visit, they participated in exchange activities which included an environmental study exchange at Takakura Elementary School and also participated to do the River front activity near Kamo Gawa River. They also learnt the techniques of keeping the river clean and enrich with aquatic biodiversity..
THE PURPOSE OF VISIT WAS:-
a) to raise awareness about environment protection through programs and activities in schools and also in communities.
b) to conduct environmental – friendly activities with the goal to clean River Ganga.
To live in harmony with nature preserving environment – to become defender and friends of the Earth – Be responsible- Conserve and Preserve.
IMPACT OF THE VISIT:-
Therefore, the school has been organizing a series of awareness programs to achieve the objectives and restoration of Earth.
To raise awareness, programs and activities were organized at
– School level
– Communities level (participation of parents, neighborhood)
Awareness Programs and activities in School
1. Painting Competitions-
The students drew pictures to spread awareness to protect, enhance & preserve aquatic habitat in River Ganga.
2. Awareness through Poem recitation
The students of class 6 recited a poem “THE CRY OF GANGA’ (attached poem)
To spread awareness through poetry is the best way. The poetry depicts about what Ganga as a mother feels and pleads to the people to save it, not to pollute it and let her freshness remain forever.
For debate on the topic “Is Ganga really a lifeline”, students presented their views for and against this topic.
3. Awareness through cleanliness Drive (Swachhta Pakwada)and taking Pledge
Students, teachers and other staff took Pledge to keep their environment clean
Let us not pollute Ganga,
Let us not dump any waste into it,
Let us not wash into it,
Let us not make it a death bed for aquatic animals,
Let us pledge for a living Ganga.
Let us save it.
Let us consider Ganga more than a river.
Ganga belongs to us, It’s our heritage.
Save Ganga! Clean Ganga!
4. CODE – GANGA (RIVER)
G – Generator of Alternative Energy
A – Aquatic habitat of many species
N – Nurtures Mother Earth
G – Giver of life
A – Adaptability
5. Awareness for cleanliness of River Ganga through slogans and poster making
6. Awareness through article writing –
the threat of Corona virus by hope and positivity through creativity on 26th June 2020
Focusing on the pressing environmental issue, COVID-19 (PANDEMIC), a massive awareness program was organized by W.H. Smith Memorial School targeting students from 9 to 12 through painting and article writing on the topic- Impact of COVID-19 on Environment. This awareness program aimed at taking on the threat of Corona virus by hope and positivity through creativity.
7. World Earth Day on 22nd April 2021
An online awareness program through PowerPoint Presentation was organized on 22nd April 2021 for students. This Power Point Presentation was based on UN theme – “Restore our Mother Earth”. It helped the students to appreciate Mother Earth.
Awareness Programs – In Communities
1. Awareness through Radio Mirchi
For the noble cause of maintaining the cleanliness of River Ganga, W. H. Smith Memorial thought Radio to be an important tool to spread awareness.
For this, the school approached Radio Mirchi and fixed a live broadcast with R.J. Shashank to share the experience of the visit to Kyoto, Japan, the difference of both the cities, how Japanese are nature lovers and also what they have learnt through cleanup activity of Takesegawa river and what they want to implement here in Varanasi to keep their river Ganga clean.
2. Event: Tree Plantation with Prime Minister of India on 2nd July 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched mega Plantation Drive by planting a sapling at Primary School in Varanasi to increase green cover in this city. A total of 27 lakh saplings and tree were being planted with the help of students, farmers and residents.
W.H. Smith Memorial School got an opportunity to be a part of this government initiated program.
3. Street play based on Importance of Clean and Green Environment and to conserve water
A street play based on environmental awareness was performed in I.G. Office on 23rd April 2017 by the students of class 6 and 7.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROGRAM:-
1. Event: Adoption of Janki Ghat (Clean up activity at Janki Ghat, River Ganges)
W. H. Smith Memorial School and OISCA International gives wings to fulfill Prime Minister Modi’s dream of keeping the lifeline (River Ganga) clean. The school has adopted Janki Ghat ( on the bank of the River Ganga) and maintains the cleanliness of the Ghat.
W. H. Smith Memorial School and OISCA North India along Rotary Club Varanasi South and Interact Club regularly organizes a cleanup activity near River Ganga at Janki Ghat.
After returning from Kyoto city, this was a small step taken by W.H. Smith Memorial School’s Principal, Management, teachers & students to create awareness through rallies, campaigns and clean-up activity involving parents and other people. Students, teachers, Parents and people from the communities participats in the clean up activity. . There was a lot of zeal & enthusiasm among the participants of this massive campaign. Now this program is running regularly.
Students from other schools also joins this noble activity.
2. Event: Visit of Ms.Shinjo, delegates from Kodansha Publication & OISCA International Japan (Date: 20/01/2018)
W. H. Smith Memorial school proudly welcomed Ms. Mariko Shinjo, author of Mottainai Grandma Books and delegates from Kodansha Publication and also Mr. Nagaishi Secretary General, Mr. Watanabe Vice President and some other members. Ms. Ritu Prasad, Director North India, was also welcomed.
Ms. Mariko Shinjo, the Author of Mottainai Grandma books introduced the books and interacted with the students of classes 6 &7. Children learnt the concept of 4R’s -Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and the most important Respect for Nature. They also showed their inclination and interest in the concept of Mottainai- Not to waste.
3. Event: Visit of Japanese Diet Members & Members Of OISCA International Japan on 27th August 2019.
W. H. Smith Memorial school proudly welcomed the Japanese DIET Members Honourable Shigeru Ishiba, President of the League, Honarable Koichi Tani, Honaurable Shinji Inoue, Honourable Shunsuke Mutai, Honourable Yoichi Anami, OISCA members – Mr. Akira Morita, Director International Cooperation Division, OISCA International, Ms. Ritu Prasad, Director OISCA North India.
Around 11 saplings were planted by DIET Members and OISCA Members in the school premises. Plantation was followed by pledge where all present in the hall took an oath to show respect and protect the environment.
Honorable Shigeru Ishiba, President of the League addressed the audience and inspired them with his motivating words.
4. Event: Inauguration of Rain Water Harvesting Project on 30th October 2021
W. H. Smith Memorial School has been associated with OISCA International, Japan since 2017 and is constantly working towards the conservation and sustainable environment by undertaking several projects by involving students and parents. In collaboration with OISCA, and understanding the importance of replenishment of ground water, our school has taken a great initiative in implanting Rain Water Harvesting system in the school premises.
On 30th October 2021, Rain Water Harvesting Project was inaugurated by Prof. Chandana Halder (Ex Dean Dept. of Zoology, B.H.U.) along with Principal Dr. Anita Pauline Dey and Administrative officer, Mrs. Pratyasha Mukherjee.
POEM: The Cry of Ganga
I am Ganga
Not merely a stream
But a mighty river
Revered by so many
Praised by the Vedas
I am home to aquatic life
Living in my habitat.
People come to me for
Cure for disease
And to quench their thirst.
I provide succor to millions
Living by my banks.
But man’s senseless
And selfish wants
Has earned me the tag of,
A most polluted river
Shame on you
From a sacred
And life giving river
You have reduced
Me to a cauldron
Of, pollution and death,
The cleaning drive
Doomed by people greed
Today I am accused of
But who made me so?
You, the greedy people!
You have dumped my soul
With lethal chemicals
Heavy metals to run factory
And mindless brutish move
You have made me
An agent of disease
Wake up now
And stop this plundering
Let me not be
A harbinger of death
Stop! This maniacal pollution
Of my sacred waters.
Let the new plants
Rinse me to
My former glory
Let me once again be the harbinger of life.
Let me be as sacred
As the veda song of my glory
Free me from pollution
O senseless people!
‘The Cry of Ganga’ which has a powerful, hard – hitting message, depicting the spiritual essence of the river Ganga and how it has degenerated over the ages by the hands of human.
Mother Ganga is pleading people (men) not to pollute her but allow the sanctity of river to be maintained. Ganga is pure, sacred & pious.
So, she urges human beings to look at the dilapidated condition and to act responsibly to preserve, conserve and protect her or else she will be dead.