'Indifferent teachers, improper sites causing plants' wilting at schools'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: May 08, 2015 23:51 IST

Improper site and fencing, besides teachers' indifference has led to low survival rate of saplings planted in schools, a survey conducted by the Himachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority has found.

With an aim to sensitise students towards environmental issues, the authority had taken up the project to involve them in plantation drives.

Students of all schools above primary level were associated in the afforestation drive, as part of which 5.39 lakh students of 4,580 schools planted close to 6 lakh saplings at various sites, including their schools, selected by the forest department.

A team of advocates that conducted the survey, though expressed satisfaction with the survival rate of saplings planted in the forest areas, showed discontent with their survival on school campuses.

"Low survival rate of plants on school campuses can be attributed to improper site and fencing, construction activities on the premises, lack of enthusiasm among teachers and no incentive for students taking part in such programmes," the report said.

It suggested holding workshops for teachers to make them aware of their role in inculcating love for environment in students and enlightening them of their fundamental duty to protect and improve the environment.

A team of around 200 advocates had visited various sites during January and February, prepared reports and presented them to chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir on Thursday.

Citing a Kashmiri saying that food will sustain when the woods sustain, the chief justice asked additional chief secretary, education, to exhort teachers towards better participation in the programme.

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