One tree at a time


Children’s Day will be marked by a tree-planting event across 21 schools in Karnataka

In the wake of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg’s call for standing up for climate action, students all over the world are heeding her clarion call. On Children’s Day, students in Bengaluru and Karnataka are doing their bit for the environment by planting trees.

Prerana MyTree, an eco-initiative by students from 48,000 government schools across Karnataka will plant about 2.5 lakh trees across the state. Prerana MyTree is supported by the state government, the NGO Sikshana Foundation, Dell and Bengaluru-based startup, Eyeris Media.

“Prerna is a motivational model created by Sikshana about 17 years ago,” says Abhilash Krishna, CEO of Eyeris Media, adding: “They started with a few schools in Kanakpura and over the years scaled it up to all government schools. In 2017, the education department announced that this programme from now on will be implemented across all the 48,000 schools in Karnataka. As a filmmaker, I have been working with Sikshana for close to three years now, documenting them.”

One tree at a time

“ During one of our shoots, a couple of months ago, we realised now that Prerna has been implemented across schools; maybe we can do something bigger than just focus on academics. That is when we talked to the students on the need to plant trees.”

Abhilash adds that it was decided that each school can plant five trees on their campus. “We will be starting with 21 schools: 10 in Doddaballapur, 10 in Ramanagara and one in Bengaluru.”

When it came to choosing the trees, organisers got teachers to give students an assignment on the kind of trees that can be planted. Abhilash adds: “We took the list of trees to an environmentalist and consulted the officials of the forest department on how practical it is to plant them.”

The eco-initiative, says Abhilash, will go on till June 2020. “In March the students have their exams, so we will stop then. So, between now and February, we will plant as many trees as we can in as many schools.”

“Then, in May, we will monitor how the saplings are faring. In addition, students will also be going to their schools during the holidays to check on the plants. On June 5, World Environment Day, we plan to hold an event, where the entire journey will be documented.” The essence of the initiative lies in what Abhilash says: “Only a tree can replace a tree.”

The event will be held at 11am on November 14 at Government Higher Primary School, K.Gollahalli, Hemmigepura.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:04:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/one-tree-at-a-time/article29962919.ece

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