All the students have been given a sapling to be planted in public space

They stood in formation sporting saffron, white and green bandanas to drape their playground in national colours on Thursday. Over 12,000 children of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School at Pattom had gathered to give a World Environment Day message. Braving the rising heat, they sang together a song for a greener earth.

The school, founded in 1940, is believed to hold the record of having the highest number of students under one syllabus on one campus in Asia. Yet another record was sought to be made when it gave each student a sapling to be planted in public space in the evening.

Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala inaugurated the programme by planting a sandalwood sapling on the school premises and gave away saplings to student representatives.

Mr. Chennithala spoke of the importance of sustainable development. “Protecting our environment needs to be a lifestyle, an integral part of our lives,” he said.

Stressing upon the need for afforestation drives, he called upon all to live in greater proximity to, and affinity with, nature.

The students were administered a pledge to protect the environment by school Principal Varkey Attupurath.