Lack of knowledge, awareness "main causes of hunger"
CHENNAI: Educating small and marginal farmers will better their lives, agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan said at the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre on Tuesday.
Giving away the annual CPREEC award for environmental education, Dr. Swaminathan said lack of knowledge and awareness were the main causes of hunger.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation had launched a programme called feeding minds and fighting hunger with this in mind.
This year's award, which was a silver salver, a citation and cash of Rs. 5,000, went to T.R. Rajan, a high school teacher at M.G.M.N.S.S. Higher Secondary School in Lakkattoor in Kerala.
Dr. Swaminathan, who is also the chairman of the Centre, saluted Mr. Rajan's efforts at educating students and teachers at the school and elsewhere in the State.
He said teachers like him were an inspiration for all. Kerala had high human development indicators because of the priority given to education and development.
Nandita Krishna, honorary director of CPREEC, said the organisation was set up in 1981 and since then has worked with 600 non-government organisations (NGOs) across the four southern states besides Maharashtra, Orissa and Goa.
These NGOs, who work with the local people , nominate a teacher for the award. sSince 1989, the Centre's educational efforts had covered over one lakh children in 10,000 schools, she said.
Mr. Rajan said he had been conducting district level energy conservation programmes for teachers and has helped set up Energy Conservation Clubs in 60 schools in Kerala.
A high school mathematics teacher with 25 years' experience, he has developed a choola, which emits 20 per cent less smoke. He is the school coordinator of National Green Corps of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.