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This school in Mumbai’s suburbs is grooming eco-warriors on its campus

They have initiated various campaigns to save water, treat waste and clean up beaches

mumbai Updated: Apr 23, 2018 11:18 IST
Shreya Soni
Shreya Soni
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,green heroes,goregaon
Jerry Paul, manager, administration, VIBGYOR High School, Goregaon, explains how the waste composters installed in the school work. (RAGUL KRISHNAN/HT PHOTO)

Environment protection programmes are as important as the academic curriculum at Vibgyor High, a school in Goregaon. Keeping in mind various pressing issues related to environment protection, the school has been taking effective steps to facilitate an environment-friendly campus.

They have initiated multiple campaigns like ‘Go Blue’, to save water, ‘Waste Management’, where compost pits have been installed to control school waste and ‘Anti- Plastic’, where students have taken to clean the beaches of Mumbai, to raise awareness among students.

As a part of the waste management initiative, Vibgyor collaborated with non-governmental organisation Daily Dump to install compost pits in their campus that help recycle food waste into manure, which is used as fertiliser in the school garden. These compost pits are situated behind the canteen, where most of the food waste is generated. “Students are taught to segregate their leftovers into wet and dry waste,” said Jerry Paul, manager-administration, Vibgyor.

As a part of the pilot project started in November, a total of 1,331 kilograms of compostable waste has been collected till February this year. “Owing to the success of the compost pits in managing food waste, the pits are now being set up across all 28 schools of the Vibgyor chain situated across the country,” said Paul.

Following the footsteps of corporates, the school has set up a Students Social Responsibility Council (SSRC) for classes 9 and above.“It is our collective endeavour to create awareness and sensitise our students about the anti- plastic drive with the focus to make our school free of one-time-use plastic,” said Tanya Gulrajani, principal, Vibgyor High.

One such initiative taken by the SSRC is the cleaning of Versova beach. The school has been working on its beach clean-up project with Afroz Shah, a lawyer and beach clean-up crusader, for a year. Every alternate Saturday, about 200 students gather on the beach and collect marine debris.

In trying to incorporate the 4Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse — into their daily lives, Daksh Thakkar, a Class 7 student at Vibgyor High, proposed an alternative to plastic litter bags. Thakkar won a silver medal in the final round of the Dr Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Spardha 2017-18, which is conducted by the Mumbai Science Teachers Association. He proposed the use of hardened paper as opposed to the one day plastic litter bags in his award winning research paper, a suggestion that is now being followed by the school. This paper is recycled after a seven-day period.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 10:34 IST