‘Many species, one earth, one future' was the slogan at this year's World Environment Day celebrations at the Pilikula Science Centre on Saturday.
Students from across the district took part in singing, quiz, speech and drawing competitions related to environmental conservation, while teachers attended a seminar on biodiversity.
Gaurav M. Kumar, class 10 student from Sri Ramakrishna High School in Puttur, who won first place in the quiz competition, was deeply inspired by the theme and message of the event. “After listening to them, I have a goal in my life. I am going to make a contribution to preventing environmental pollution, no matter how small it is,” he said.
Prize-winning art work, placed prominently on stage, impressed every one. Harish Bhat, an environmental scientist from IISc., Bangalore, and chief resource person for the seminar, said he was touched by “the emotion attached to the paintings and speeches of the children.”
“Most of these children actually face problems they have shown in their drawings. Hopefully, they will go back and try to make a change,” he said. The organisers emphasised the need to spread awareness about our ailing planet, to create a better informed public and mitigate the consequences of neglect and ignorance.
After the seminars, Shruti Bhat, a teacher at Sreenivas College, said, “I don't think educational institutions are doing as much as they can. They do not give these issues enough importance.”
Speaking to The Hindu after the function, students said that elders were not taking the threat of environmental degradation seriously enough.
“Most elders do not really care about the environment. They do not do anything to save it because they think it is a small issue,” said Amulya G. Rai, a student of Sri Ramakrishna High School, who bagged the District Young Scientist award.
Santhosh Kumar Bhandary, president of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, spoke.