The Rural Centre
   Krishnamurti Foundation India,Rajghat Fort Varanasi, India














   Green School Programme

In its endeavour to become eco-friendly school and to transform the children into environmentally responsible citizens, Achyut Patwardhan School has introduced a programme called Green School Programme (GSP). Under the programme, the activities have been designed to adopt environmental practices in ones life. The focus is on conservation and development of life supporting systems such as water, land, air, energy and also waste management. This programme has been designed by Centre for Science and Environment (www.cseindia.org), New Delhi, a non-profit organisation. CSE is one of the premier institutions, which is creating awareness on critical environmental issues and influencing the policy changes.

Activities

Water utilization: To facilitate the children to assess the resource utilization the school has fixed the water meters to enable the children to quantify the water utilization. The school on average uses water ranging from 6,000-7,000 litres a day. It amounts to 20-24 litres of water/ day/ person (total number is approx.300). The standards are as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

A soakage pit was constructed to channel the kitchen waste water to recharge ground water. The students contributed labour through "Shramdhan" during the construction of soakage pit.

Land use: An assessment by the children revealed that the School campus has 29.70% area under tree cover. For a healthy environment, ideally 11 percent of the land area must be under tree cover. The trees planted by the school are producing 4 times more oxygen than required. The school has 14,500sq.mt. tree canopy area.

So far the students have identified 65 plant species, and 34 animal species in the school campus. There are 230 trees in the campus. There is lot more plants species yet to be identified.

Energy consumption: The school is using 54 MJ of energy per day/person, which is little over than the prescribed standards - 49 MJ. It is also because, the school uses diesel generator for its energy needs. Resorting to alternative sources of energy is critical to becoming ecologically friendly school.

Waste management: The children are being educated to segregate the wastes into biodegradables and non-biodegradables. All the waste collection points have two separate dust bins for organic waste and non-biodegradables.

The waste is segregated into paper, organic waste and plastic. Only once, paper and plastic were sent to recycling units. As of now this system has not yet been stabilized. The ragpickers won't come regularly. The school is trying to work out with various rag pickers to make the system workable.

As part of recycling of organic waste, the school converts dry leaves into compost. It harvested 2.5 tonnes of compost under NADEP method very recently. It was used in the agriculture farm of the Rural Centre and in the school gardens. In addition, kitchen waste collected and composted in a separate chamber. From this chamber, about 12 quintals of compost was harvested.

Interviews in Down to Earth supplement- GOBER TIMES - monthly magazine: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) brings out a magazine fortnightly. It also brings out a supplement called GOBER TIMES along with the first issue of the month. GOBER TIMES focuses on topics and issues on environment and science for children. Several issues of Gober Times (www.gobertimes.org) has covered interviews of Achyut Patwardhan School about Green School Programme and environment related issues.

GSP Award

This is the second year since the programme has been introduced in the school. The practices adopted by the school have been recognized by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). As a result, among 3000 and odd schools, Achyut Patwardhan School has secured 10th place under the category - CHANGE MAKERS. During this year (2008-09), CSE has divided the participating schools into two categories i.e., a) New entrants and b) Change makers. The children and the teachers were invited by CSE for the award Ceremony. Five children from different groups under the programme and two teachers participated in the award ceremony held on 18th Dec-2008 at New Delhi.

Future Plans

Adopting the Rural Centre and Sarai Mohana village to make them clean and green

Intending to increase area under tree cover by planting trees

Construction of water harvesting structures in the school campus to channel the
rainwater into a open well to recharge the ground water

Promoting smokeless chullas in the villages