The environment comprises all the natural resources such as air, water, land, forests, and minerals. It is our duty to protect the environment and its natural resources. Nonetheless, due to technical advancement and other reasons, there is rampant misuse of these natural resources, leading to land degradation, water pollution, air pollution, and deforestation. All these factors lead to worsening of the environment.
With an aim to understand the importance of the environment and the far reaching effects of non-violent environmental movements, learners of grades 5 & 6 were introduced to the topic, ‘The Chipko Movement.’ Chipko movement, also called Chipko Andolan, was one such non-violent social and ecological movement, aimed at protecting trees and forests slated for government-backed logging by rural villagers, particularly women, in India in the 1970s.
Learners understood what are different environmental problems, causes and their effects. Various ecological movements such as the Bishnoi movement, Appiko movement, Silent Valley movement, Fisherfolk movement, Tehri Dam movement, etc. were discussed and analyzed for better understanding. Major literature pieces in the form of poems and movies were talked about. Open discussions on environmental justice and other issues were held.
Dhaval Vargiya, programme officer with Centre for Sustainable Conservation Action for Protection of Ecosystems of the Seas, Tata Chemicals Initiative, was invited as a guest speaker to deliver a talk on importance of environmental conservation. He in his talk gave awareness of the impact human actions have had and still have on the planet and its inhabitants, and gave suggestions on implementation of sustainable, environmentally sound methods towards the development of mankind.
By the end of the explorations, learners appreciated the importance of correcting the damage caused as well as preventing future destruction.