Launching of Eco Club ‘Nisarga’ in the campus
May 02 to May 09 was celebrated as Eco Week by the newly formed Eco Club of our college. The objective of celebrating Eco-Week in our campus was two-fold –
• To spread awareness about the need for protection of our environment and practicing a sustainable lifestyle, and
• To spread awareness about the Eco Club
Eco-Week 2011 was declared open by our Principal, Dr. M S Indira, and Dean, Dr. R H Nagabhushan, on Monday May 2, at 1:30 in the afternoon. This was immediately followed by our first activity – Planting of Saplings around the campus. Over 150 saplings were planted by the Students and Staff with the help of the Horticulture Department. Later in the evening, Students formed a human chain and took an oath to protect the environment. The oath was administered by our Principal.
In keeping with the spirit of eco-friendliness, all publicity material used for Eco-Club and Eco-Week were recycled materials. The blank side of Banners of previous events were used; Printing was avoided and Banners and Posters were handwritten and painted. Schedules were printed or written on blank side of used papers. Invitations to the guests and judges for various events were made from old Greeting and Invitation Cards. Old floppy disks brought by the students and those collected from the college office were converted into Identity Cards for the Club Members.
Several contests and awareness events were held just before and during the course of the week. On April 28, a Leaf Litter Composting facility was constructed behind the Library to eliminate burning of leaf litter, under the guidance of Sri N S Ramakanth of Bangalore Solid Waste Management Round Table. Many more of these small composting plants need to be constructed across the campus to totally eliminate burning of leaves. With all organic waste from the mess being sent to piggeries, Sir MVIT is now well on its way to achieve the dream of being a Zero Waste Discharge campus.
A Collage Competition was held on Tuesday, where participants had to come up with a collage on the theme of environment using just two newspapers, thus promoting the concept of efficient use of resources. Wednesday was the busiest of all days as four events were held. At 10:30, 18 teams of 3-4 members embarked on a contest to clean the campus. A shocking 280 kilograms of paper and plastic litter were collected in just an hour. The collected materials will be segregated and handed over to ITC limited for recycling. Soon after this event, Poster Presentation and Wastecraft – a contest to convert litter into art – were held simultaneously. The final event of the day was a Presentation by Mr. Kuldeep Dantewadia – Co-Founder and Director of The Environment Group – on Roly Pig Composter, an aesthetic composter that has the potential to be adopted within the campus.
On Thursday, the preliminary round of the Environmental Awareness Quiz was conducted. The quiz saw a participation of over 35 teams and 10 of them proceeded to the Finals. More than testing the knowledge of the contestants, the aim of the quiz was to spread awareness about certain aspects about the environment. The questions were also framed to help facilitate this goal. The quiz prelims was followed by a hotly contested debate on whether a Ban on Plastics was Realistic.
Friday was a Holiday on account of Basava Jayanthi, but Eco-Club Members decided to make the best use of this break by visiting the “Land Lab” of Waste Wise Trust, a non-profit solid waste management service organisation. The trip had an environmental and social significance. The students practically saw how unsegregated waste dumped in garbage bags was segregated manually and learnt about the different methods of composting. The students got an insight as to how waste could be converted to useful products. They also learnt about a few medicinal plants and their benefits. This was followed by a freewheeling interaction with Sri Rosario- Founder and Managing Trustee of Waste Wise Trust. But the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the time spent talking to the workers of the trust who were involved in segregating the waste manually. The thoughts they shared and the affection they showed to us moved all of us. The happiness in their faces inspired and reminded us of saying, “Love your job & you will not have to work a day in your life”. To our eyes, they were living examples of the thought which says, “There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.”
The competitions of eco-week came to a close with the Finals of the Quiz which were held on Saturday and after five closely contested rounds, the champions were crowned. Soon, all dustbins within the campus will be replaced with two bins – one for plastic litter and the other for paper litter – to enable segregation of litter at the source itself. The next program is to spread awareness about segregation.
Instead of inaugurating and then working, Eco Club members thought it would be best if we officially inaugurated the club after a decent amount of work was done. Therefore, the Eco-Club was launched officially only during the Valedictory of the Eco-Week. The chief guest for the day was Smt. Almitra Patel, the renowned environmental activist who has been instrumental in showing us the way towards a better environment. Almitra Ma’am gave an inspiring presentation regarding what students and the institution can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Our trustee Sri Srinivasa Raju who is famously called as The Tree Man, because of his contribution towards sensitising the importance of tree plantation across the state. Mrs. Almitra Patel, Sri Srinivasa Raju and Sri. N. S. Ramakanth of Solid Waste Management Round Table, Bangalore along with the Principal, Dean and Director of Sir MVIT, launched the Eco Club by unfurling a hand-painted banner and unveiled the name of the club – Nisarga. Finally, Prizes for various events conducted during the week were given away by the dignitaries. The day ended with High Tea and a demo on Rain Water Harvesting by the demonstration van brought to our campus by RAINY groups Bangalore.