New Delhi: To create a cadre of environmentally conscious students, on the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5), under the campaign Dettol, country’s first Climate Resilient School has been launched in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.
Talking about the concept and the inspiration for the project, Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships, SOA, Reckitt said,
We are taking the concept of Climate Resilient Schools from the land of Uttarakhand in India to COP28 this year. We are proposing the concept of having child cabinets in schools for fighting climate change under Mission LiFE programme of government, which was launched by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is also the Dettol Banega Swasth India season 9 agenda as we are focusing in this season on Lakshya Sampoorn Swasthya Ka. Here’s hoping more and more people and communities will join us in this initiative.
What Are Climate Resilient Schools?
A Climate Resilient model school will focus on introducing climate-friendly technologies as part of the school infrastructure. The school infrastructure will be made in such a way that it will be energy and water- efficient. These will include:
- Rainwater harvesting system
- Grey water recycling
- Foot operated/drip hand-washing stations
- Solar energy providing uninterrupted electricity
- Provision of lighting in classrooms as per the standardised recommended level
- Retrofitting buildings with climate-friendly cooling or heating techniques
- Waste segregation, management and creation of zero waste campus
- Significant increase of green cover in the school premises
- Climate friendly school bag, pencil, pen, pencil box and other consumables
- Zero plastic zone
- Green building or Net Zero Carbon certification of the Climate Resilient schools by recognised Certification agencies
The project first will be implemented in three phases, starting this year till 2025. It will cover all 13 districts of Uttarakhand. Here is a phase-wise coverage of the 13 districts:
Year 1 – 3 districts: Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag & Chamoli
Year 2 – 4 districts: Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun, Haridwar
Year 3 – 6 districts: Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora, Nainital, Tehri & Paur
Explaining in detail about the focus areas of Climate Resilient Schools started by Dettol, Sharon Jacob, State Advocacy and Program Manager, Plan India said,
Climate Resilient Schools focus on three aspects – Campus, Curriculum and Collaboration. In campus we cover five thrust areas – Air, bio-diversity, water, waste and energy. We have solar energy panels so that school runs on efficient energy source. We also have low-flow fixture taps that allows only limited water thus conserving water in schools. We are also segregating our waste into dry and wet waste and teaching students about composting. In terms of curriculum we are trying to integrate climate change education. The climate change curriculum will educate children about the crisis and teach them about their contribution.
Apart from campus related changes, the Climate Resilient Schools will also have specific climate curriculum that will teach children the importance of climate change actions with an experiential and contextual learning approach. As a part of the project, teachers will be trained as facilitators to educate, empower and engage. It will include activities like introducing STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) tools to help children learn about temperature, humidity, rainfall and changing weather patterns.
It will also create a platform for children to identify and come up with their plan of action to mitigate climate risks at the local level.
Highlighting the need for Climate Resilient Schools in India and how it can tackle the crisis of climate change, Abhishek Ruhela, District Magistrate, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand said,
Climate Resilient Schools help reduce overall carbon footprint. Students who study in climate resilient schools help spread the message of climate change in the society, which is the need of the hour.
Dettol School Hygiene Education Program – Key Goals
1. Equip children, young people, and educators with tools to foresee the upcoming risks and prepare for both short-term needs and long-term solutions
2. Make a cadre of children and young people in schools that are environmentally conscious and can act as ambassadors of climate change adaptation
3. Build educational institutes as ‘learning and demonstration centers’ for climate change
4. Create participatory approaches and intergenerational dialogues for climate adaptation
5. Promotion of local traditional knowledge through cross-learning platforms between teachers, students and experts from the community led by schools that may further help build resilience to climate change
6. Building guidance resources and capacity building initiatives targeting youth and teachers for climate adaptation in schools
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.