Young World

To revive the rivers…

Scientific study: Testing the river water. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Students and faculty of the Government Boys Vocational Higher Secondary School, Thrippunithura, can be proud of their achievement.

For, their 65-page report split into 16 chapters complete with annexures based on a comprehensive study on two important rivers in the district would put even some research students to shame.

Valuable study

The status analysis study of Kadamprayar and Chitrapuzha River was the outcome of the painstaking research conducted for over six months from September last year. Three faculty members and ten students of the National Green Corps (NGC) unit in the school were engaged with it.

Students were ably assisted in the endeavour by Prof. S. Sitaraman, environment activist and the district coordinator of NGC, K.S. Nafin of the Aluva-based Association for Environmental Protection, and K.K. Razak, coordinator of the NGC unit in the school.

The school had won the award of the Central government for the best performing NGC unit during the 2009-10 academic year. “We were told that the cash award of Rs. 50,000 could be used for doing a project on environment,” said Mini V, one of the faculty members associated with the project, on how the project materialised.

The study was undertaken mainly on Saturdays and other free time to ensure that it did not affect academics. Dr. Sitaraman said that the students had undertaken a comprehensive study within their limits.

He said that involving the youngsters in the conservation of environment was of immense value. “It's a trend that needs to be encouraged. Many more schools have approached me evincing interest in similar projects,” he said.

Before pollution

The students split into three groups under three faculty members went around the banks of the rivers, often travelling in country boats, extensively interviewing people who were familiar with the two rivers long before they had fallen victim to pollution in the wake of industrialisation. They came to know that there was a time when these waters provided livelihood to thousands by means of fishing and cultivation.

Gradually, the river was hit by unabated pollution and people who depended on it started moving away. Students collected samples of surface water and deep sediments and got them scientifically tested before reaching their conclusion.

Ms. Mini said that the students were enthusiastic as they could gain first-hand knowledge of the environmental issues like encroachments and pollution caused by effluents discharged straight from the industrial units into the rivers.

The school was now trying to get the Thrippunithura municipality to clean at least a section of the rivers so that students can further the cause of their project by embarking on an awareness campaign against pollution. The school also has plans to submit the report to the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 11:17:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/to-revive-the-rivers/article2353913.ece

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