Schools in Mumbai are working hard to encourage students to celebrate a pollution-free and clean Diwali this year, through awareness drives and pledges.
Close to 85 trainee teachers of the Podar Institute of Education, Santacruz, have been visiting schools, encouraging students not to burst firecrackers. The teachers have visited schools such as Bombay Scottish High School in Mahim, Don Bosco High School in Matunga, and Children’s Academy in Kandivli and Malad.
“Our teachers persuaded primary students to celebrate a noise-free and pollution-free Diwali,” said Swati Popat Vats, president of the Podar Education Network. “Teachers used puppets, stories and interesting trivia to convey their message. Such drives are conducted every year.”
This year, Podar Jumbo Kids also organised a fair in its Santacruz campus, to convince parents to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. “We taught parents to use waste products such as old newspaper to make paper lanterns, diyas. We also showed them how to make nutritious sweets,” she said.
Schools are also linking their efforts to the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. “Our students pledged to celebrate Diwali without littering, in keeping with Narendra Modi’s message of a Swachh Bharat,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.
NGOs such as Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) have also been creating awareness about the ill-effects of bursting crackers. “Like every year, our volunteers visited schools to spread this message this year,” said Vinodini Lulla, managing trustee of CMCA.