Working with Youth
The Seeds of Change program works with school and college-aged youth to help them develop their environmental awareness and civic consciousness. Students participate in campus environmental audits, bird watching sessions, drawing and writing competitions, and the design and implementation of campus environmental sustainability micro projects. The program also organizes field trips, rallies, seminars, and waste segregation trainings – all with the goal of planting “seeds of change” among future generations as part of PondyCAN’s overall effort to reverse environmental degradation and improve the live ability of Pondicherry and the surrounding region.
Initiated in 2010, the Seeds of Change program has now worked in more than 20 schools (about 14 rural and 6 urban), with a total of more than 2600 students. In addition, we have helped students set up a vermin composting system, a sanitary waste incinerator, a butterfly garden, a medicinal plant project, and initiate a university zero waste program. We have also conducted waste segregation training with more than 150 people in the community of Auroville.
Click here to see a list of schools.
The Seeds of Change program works with students to carry out:
- Environmental audits
- Improve campus sustainability
- Conduct wetlands awareness sessions and
- Provide waste segregation awareness trainings.
The environmental audit component of the Seeds of Change program involves working with students to conduct campus environmental audits. Usually carried out in groups of 30-40 students, one or two teachers, and a PondyCAN facilitator, and with groups of students aged 12-20, this exercise has kids ranking their school in terms of how “green” it is using the Green Schools Manual developed by the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi. Audits require one 2-3 hour session a week for a period of 6-8 weeks. Audit results are sent to the Center for Science and Environment. All participating schools receive a certificate and schools that rank high receive awards.
Click here to read some environmental audit results.
Improving Campus Sustainability
This component of the Seeds of Change program involves working with specific campuses to help make them more “green.” Carried out with student, teacher, and administrative participation, and supported by a Centre for Science and Environment team, activities involve the design and conception of the project, and implementation, mostly carried out within a school term. Participating schools can also apply for nation-wide grants with assistance from a Seeds of Change team.
Click here to read about the Zero Waste Campus project at Pondicherry Engineering College.
Click here to read about the butterfly garden project at Jawahar Navodhya Vidhyalaya School.
Click here to read about the medicinal plant and sanitary waste incinerator projects at Allanguppam Higher Secondary School.
Pondicherry and the surrounding bio region are home to three well known wetlands areas, Kaliveli Tank, Ousteri Lake, and Bahour Lake, all of which attract a large number of annual migratory birds during the months of November-February. These wetlands areas are highly productive and sustain a high level of biodiversity. But they are also under enormous pressure from rapid urbanization, agriculturalencroachment, over exploitation (poaching), eutrophication and siltation.
There is an urgent need to conserve these wetlands areas, and a key to doing so is in generating interest and support for these areas by educating local people about the importance of wetlands areas to their livelihoods and well being.
Click here to see a presentation on this program.
Waste Segregation Awareness Trainings
Environmentally sustainable solid waste management is an important goal for Pondicherry and the surrounding bio region. Towards that end, the Seeds of Change program supports the Eco Service by providing waste segregation trainings and awareness sessions with residents of the community of Auroville . To date, we have worked with over 150 residents and employees.
Please Click here for Seed of Change image gallery