Chipping in with their mite to save ecology
Serena Josephine M.
Students of middle school adopt two medians on Ariyankuppam junction, plant saplings: Photo by C.Venkatachalapathy
GREEN SURROUNDINGS: Students of Government Middle School, Ariyankuppam, carrying out maintenance work at the median , under the guidance of their teachers.
PUDUCHERRY: Traffic snarls, constant flow of heavy vehicles and the resulting air pollution might not be new for Ariyankuppam. But a group of young students of Government Middle School, Ariyankuppam, are making a difference: they have begun a project to reduce pollution from vehicles and the impact of global warming in their own small way.
Driven by concern for environment, the students have adopted two medians on the busy junction of Ariyankuppam.
They have planted over 22 saplings along the medians and water them every day.
It was in March that the students embarked on this initiative soon after surveying the level of smoke emitted by vehicles crossing the junction.
"We conducted a survey to see the level of emission by two-wheelers, four-wheelers including heavy vehicles crossing the Ariyankuppam junction. We found that tractors, lorries and buses emitted heavy smoke, resulting in pollution in the locality," said R. Mugilan, a student of Class VIII.
Under guidance of their teachers, the students adopted two medians for planting saplings and erecting fences.
"The saplings have grown to some extent. Now, we can feel clean and fresh air in the locality. The plants take in carbondioxide from the smoke emitted by vehicles and release oxygen," Mugilan said.
A team of 15 students from Class VI to Class VIII have been maintaining the saplings every day after school hours.
"We water the plants every day and add manure to the soil. We feel that this is one of the ways to reduce the effects of climate change and create a green surrounding," said K. Thamizhvelan of Class VII.
Even the summer vacations have not dissuaded their efforts.
The students come to the spot every evening at 4.30 p.m. to do the work on rotational basis. The plants include hibiscus, palm tree, table rose and cassia fistula, they added.
But this was not all. As E. Jayabalaji of Class VII said, "We took out a rally to spread awareness among the public not to burn plastic and to plant a sapling in every house. We staged a street play on how to reduce the impact of global warming."
The initiative was part of the National Environmental Awareness Campaign (NEAC) which was being conducted in the school for the last four to five years. Last year, the theme was biodiversity and this year, it was climate change, said trained graduate teacher and NEAC coordinator of the school D. Ramalingam.
Funded by the CPR Environment Education Centre, which was the regional resource agency for NEAC, the project has enabled students to understand and be aware of environment conservation, said the school's headmaster, P.K. Bhaskaran.
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