The depleting number of tigers and the need for conservation sprang out of school textbooks and became part of a students’ fest recently.
Children from 41 city schools used art as a medium to talk about deforestation and its impact on tigers.
It is not enough to teach students statistics from books, the head of a school said.
Among the things the children did instead were roleplaying and recitation.
“Activities help to internalise the message,” the head of the school said.
A Class VIII girl depicted the pain of a tree that is being cut through a dance performance.
A group of students enacted a panel discussion on the impact of deforestation where the participants were a politician, a social worker and a wildlife conservationist.
Another group of students enacted how a prince is stopped by his father, a king, from poaching.
The performances were all within three minutes. For the students that were enough to draw issues like poaching, cutting of trees and the human-tiger conflict.
The festival — Kids for Tigers — is an annual event which could not be held in the past two years because of the pandemic.
It made a comeback this year with a daylong festival at La Martiniere for Girls last week.
The theme this year was Vote for the Tiger.
The objective for the children was to communicate to the adults that they have to vote for the tiger and the environment.
“Our objective is to make students aware of the need to protect the environment, the tiger and its habitat. If the habitat is taken away tigers won’t be there. Children through their campaigns can generate public opinion in favour of wildlife,” said Joydip Kundu, general secretary of Sher, an NGO that works with schoolchildren for tiger conservation and the environment.
Class IX student Prateep Chakraborty said protecting the tiger and its habitat was needed but not much talked about. “The more we talk about it the more we will learn about it,” said the student of Don Bosco Liluah.
His teacher, Rupasree Mukherjee, said that they learn about deforestation in geography and such a fest would only help them to understand or even do their projects better.
“Children in the fest are not mere spectators but their participation engaged them actively and not passively,” said Rupkatha Sarkar, principal, La Martiniere for Girls.
Three schools were recognised for their presentations: Delhi World Public School in Barasat, MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School and Don Bosco Liluah.
“The message conveyed to students is that they are a generation who have inherited a depleted earth and they need to work on it,” said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School.