HT and National Museum of Natural History essay contest: Spotlight on single-use plastic and saving water
About 150 school students expressed their views on single-use plastic ban and water conservation -- two of the biggest challenges facing India today -- through their insightful essays during an annual essay-writing competition held in the capital on Friday. The two topics were ‘Save The Environment From Single-Use Plastic’ and ‘Save Water To Save Life’.
That competition was organised by the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, in association with the Hindustan Times Partnerships for Action in Education (HT-PACE) at the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan.
Before the start of the competition, the NMNH official told students that this was not a class test so they could express their ideas freely. Divided into two categories — the juniors, comprising students of Classes 4 and 5, and the seniors, comprising those of Classes 6, 7 and 8 — the participants had to choose one of the two selected topics.
For the juniors, the word limit was 300 words while for the seniors it was 400 words. Only two students (one in each category) from one participating school were allowed to participate.
Teachers as well as the participants appreciated the HT-PACE initiative. Priyanka Makhijani, a teacher at BBPS, Pitampura, said the topic was relevant as saving the environment is a pressing need. Calling it a good initiative, Shumita Seth, a teacher at St Mark’s Girls Sr Sec School, Meera Bagh, said it would have been even better if practical knowledge was also given to students.
Esha Syal and Monica Mehrotra, teachers at DPS Sector 45, Gurgaon, and New Era Public School, Mayapuri, respectively, said the initiative would help everyone in taking steps to tackle environmental issues.
Many of the participants made very thoughtful remarks after the event. Hemang Choubey, a student at Indraprastha International School, Dwarka, said the event will enable society at large to know about the views of youngsters and take suitable steps to solve problems.
Another participant, Shwaas Tiku of Class 8, Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar said, “As water is one of the most important resources, I had a lot to write. We go to many competitions and talk about saving resources, but I stressed on taking action to make a difference.”
Anika Amit Kamat of Class 5, Apeejay School Faridabad, said the topic was interesting and she wrote about innovative ways to save water which people can follow in their daily lives. Concurring with Kamat, Minerva of Class 5, DPS, Vasant Kunj, said it was easy to write as one could easily relate to the topics.
For the participants, the contest was a learning experience. They were optimistic about their write-ups getting published in the newspaper. George K Alex, a student at Mt Carmel School, Sec 22, Dwarka, said, “When selected essays are published in newspapers, many students would learn about the issues and feel that they must take suitable action.”