The Telegraph
Saturday , November 10 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Students pedal for green Diwali

Awareness is not age bound.

A group of green crusaders from Jamshedpur’s Kerala Samajam Model School showed just that on Friday by taking out an “anti-pollution” rally to spread the green message before Diwali.

The youngsters, more than 300 in number, visited various places in Sakchi market and urged people to use bicycles to save fuel and ensure there was more light and less noise this Diwali. They also handed over 40 jute and cloth bags to Sakchi shopkeepers in an attempt to dissuade them from using polythene ones.

“Unlike Europe, where people use cycles as a serious form of urban transport, the idea has not gained popularity in our society. It is not socially acceptable now. But if drilled properly in the minds of the residents, a change is sure to come about,” said Saurabh Anand, a Class X student of the school who took part in the rally on Friday.

He added that cycling was a healthy form of exercise that saved fuel.

“People use exercise bikes while working out in gymnasiums. But when it comes to transport, they try and avoid it and instead ride their cars. This mentality has to change,” he told The Telegraph.

The students also spread the message of a clean, green and bright Diwali this year by asking the residents to shun crackers that added to the noise and air pollution levels.

“We are not asking children to completely stay away from bursting crackers. We just want them to buy crackers that are not known for their ear-splitting presence. Instead, they can opt for those that emit beautiful light and colour while being low on decibel,” said Gurvinder Singh, a Class IX student.

Apart from this, the school on Friday kicked off a two-day workshop for teachers that would aim to deal with adolescent problems in students, with special emphasis on sexuality.

The workshop, which is being organised in association with Calcutta-based social organisation Umeed, saw more than 50 teachers from 40 city-based schools attending it on its inaugural day.

“Children these days are exposed to innumerable changes and issues. The meanings of a lot of things have changed or are changing for them. The workshop will be an attempt to understand what goes on in the mind of such students,” said Nandini Shukla, principal of Kerala Samajam Model School.

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