The Telegraph
Monday , February 1 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Super seven in campus green guard
Bikash Bharati
Gokhale Memorial
Julien Day
St Augustine’s
Loreto Day

The award ceremony of the 12th Better Calcutta Contest, sponsored by the ICC Calcutta Foundation and The Telegraph, saw seven schools bagging the Special Merit Awards of Rs 5,000 each at the Science City auditorium on Saturday. Here are the schools and what they have achieved:

Mentaid: Students of this school for the mentally challenged in Behala have taken up a project to recycle paper. Bags made from newspapers are sent to the adult vocational wing, where they are used to pack various types of produce.

As part of a no-plastic campaign, the students have approached local shopkeepers and requested them not to use polythene packets. They have also started a small garden and want to make compost.

Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP): Fifteen students of the institute are working on sanitation projects for slum-dwellers near the Taratala Road campus. They approached the CMC to build a pay-and-use toilet in the area.

“Calcutta Port Trust, which owns the area, verbally assured the students that it would provide land to the civic body to build the toilet,” said the co-ordinating teacher, Amrita Roy.

Bikash Bharati Welfare Society School: The street and slum children who study in this non-formal school in Baranagar explained to people living in shanties along the railway line between Dunlop and Dakshineswar stations the importance of planting trees and disposing of garbage properly.

The youngsters persuaded the shanty-dwellers to reuse water from the kitchen to water the saplings they were planting.

“We also approached local clubs who helped us clear accumulated garbage. In return, we have given them two mango, a jackfruit and a guava saplings,” said Jyoti Singh of Class VI.

Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School: The girls separate the biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste on the campus. “The biodegradable waste goes to the compost pit. The compost is used as fertiliser in the gardens of medicinal plants and vegetables, both started by us in the school,” said Mohuli Das of Class XI.

The students are also working to protect the East Calcutta Wetlands. They visited waste treatment plants and fisheries on the wetlands and found that solid waste was choking the canals and lockgates. The youngsters are trying to figure out ways to tackle the problem.

Julien Day School, Ganganagar: The students here have found a way to harvest rainwater and waste water from the bathroom and the kitchen. The water is channelled into a pit in the school backyard where a small garden has been started.

The students have also distributed paper bags to local shopkeepers to stop the use of polythene packets and participated in rallies to raise awareness against the use of plastic.

Loreto Day School, Dharamtala: The school has been declared a no-plastic zone and the students have been making paper bags with newspapers and distributing them among local vendors. They have cleaned an area at the back of the school and are trying to make it green.

To conserve energy, the students ensure that the lights and fans are switched off in the empty classrooms. If electrical appliances are left on in empty classrooms, the students studying in it are fined and the money goes into the pool that funds school projects.

St Augustine’s Day School: The students maintain the trees around their school on AJC Bose Road by removing posters and billboards from the trunks and pulling out the nails used to fix them. They have also put identity tags on trees and whitewashed the lower portions of each tree to keep away insects.

Students have also performed skits and organised rallies to persuade local residents to use jute, paper and cloth bags.

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