Prime intention of the initiative, by 600 schools in Vadakara, is to reduce use of plastic

Students of over 600 schools under the Vadakara educational district will team up this academic year to form an exclusive Students Army for Vadakara Environment (SAVE).

The initiative, formally launched on Friday, will embark on a slew of creative environment protection campaigns with the cooperation of primary, secondary, and high school students in Vadakara.

The SAVE concept, formally designed by the Education Department with the cooperation of grama panchayats and Vadakara municipality, will primarily aim at reducing usage of plastic and its cost-effective treatment at schools, and planting of maximum avenue trees.

Eco-friendly products will be promoted among students through creative campaigns. Educational institutions would be encouraged to design their own innovative programmes to support the drive.

Start with the pen

A case in point is a programme for reducing usage of ballpoint pens which are made of plastic. ‘Mashipenayilekku Madakkam’ (Return to fountain pen) is a key motto, through which students will be encouraged to use fountain pens. Programme coordinators say it will be a very effective way to start the plastic reduction campaign.

Groves and gardens

Schools will strive to set up miniature sacred groves, butterfly gardens, and one tree for each class under the scheme. The support of Parents Teachers Associations too will be sought to carry out the programme in various phases.

With the support of environmentalists, students in each grama panchayat will exert pressure on their local body heads to set up panchayat-level plastic waste treatment plants.

As part of the drive, students of Kunnummal educational sub-district, who have already initiated ‘SAVE’ campaigns, will visit their local body head on February 24 to submit a memorandum for plastic recycling plant in their panchayat.

Vadakara District Education officer E.K. Sureshkumar will head the ‘SAVE’ campaign and coordinate its phased implementation. C.K. Nanu, MLA, and Vadakara municipal chairperson P.P. Renjini will monitor its implementation.

“The treatment of solid waste is a serious problem for the municipality. We are badly in need of cooperation from all, including students, to address the issue,” says Ms. Ranjini.

Programme coordinators say the idea of SAVE will have larger reach as the students will take the message home. Their activities will be guided by teachers in such a way as to attract the elders, who too would be eventually made part of the initiative.

More In: Kozhikode