With the world in the clutches of global warming and all its related horrors it is time to look at clean sources of energy. On November 10, India celebrated ‘India Beyond Coal’ askingschool children for solutions.
In school, we learn about the various sources of energy. We learn about the sun, wind and tide that are ‘clean’ sources of energy that leave the planet unharmed.
Despite endless opportunities to harness these, our country has moved towards a dependency on one very harmful energy source — coal. From the mines of Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh to the massive power plants in Andhra Pradesh, we are locked into the one kind of energy that does not only pollute the nation, but the world. Using coal as an energy source comes with hidden costs like deforestation, loss of biodiversity, increased sickness–and also a changing climate that endangers India’s future and everyone else’s.
Today, India relies on coal as a main source of energy. It is the single biggest contributor to climate change. It is a non-renewable source of energy. The difficulty in buying coal pushes up the price. This has trebled over the last few years. It is an expensive fuel as compared to wind and within two years, solar energy will become cheaper than coal.
On November 10, India celebrated ‘India beyond Coal’. The organisers,350.orginitiated the event and roped in partners and individuals. Thousands of students from 25 states joined hands and launched events.
In Chhattisgarh, more than 2000 students encircled a coal fired power plant in Bilaspur as a symbolic protest against the state’s dependence on coal. This was supported by four more rallies across the state.
In Bangalore, more than 500 students from all over the city created human art in the shape of lungs that depicts the impact of coal on health as opposed to clean, renewable energy.
In Ranthambore, Rajasthan, over 500 school students rallied for the protection of tiger habitats in the country against coal mining.
The Ongole (Andhra Pradesh) team used the day of action to start their campaign of pushing the local Government to invest in solar energy as a replacement for diesel generators in agriculture. They have planned workshops through out the district with the youth to educate them on clean energy and the hazards of coal and plan to translate that awareness into policy influence in the Government.
The Hyderabad team also began their efforts of pushing the Andhra legislative assembly to go green.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the walls of Bahu fort, a monument in Jammu were lit by about 500 solar lamps, inaugurated by the IT minister of J&K. In the capital, campaigners targeted various coal, environment, finance and power ministries through a creative action called Fossil Fuels awards, organised at the premises of these very ministries and awarding them for harming the environment and natural resources.