CHOOSING A PROBLEM, DEMOCRATIC WAY! We looked around our school, and realized once again, how beautiful our school is! Apart from that we have classes in dance, music, drawing, clay modeling, every form of art possible! So we gathered again and decided we can use art to convey a message, which our school stands for. We stormed brains again, to list what positive messages does our school promote? The list was exhaustive, so we shortlisted few: Save water Climate Change Plant Trees Educate Girls Save Girl Child Discover Abilities of Disabled People Save environment Save Mother Earth
DEMOCRATIC WAY …(involve the masses) We don’t want to be exclusive group! We want everyone to be part of ICT Seagulls project, so to begin with we involved 100 students of our school, at random to vote for choosing a problem: THE LIST OF PROBLEMS IS AS FOLLWOS, EACH STUDENT TICKED ON ONE OPTION: Save water Save environment Save Mother Earth Save Girl Child Climate Change Plant Trees Discover Abilities of Disabled People Educate Girls 100 VOTES GIVE US PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF WHAT MAJORITY STUDENTS WANT TO TALK ABOUT! WE PUT THE VOTES IN A TABLE FORM, SO WE COULD DO PARETO ANALYSIS OF THE VOTES!
FINALIZING THE PROBLEM IMPORTANT MANY PROBLEM CHOSEN C. SAVE MOTHER EARTH
Save Mother Earth!? “What do you think of this motto save the planet? … its quite cynical because, at the end of the day, if we don’t take care of the planet it will destroy us. But we put ourselves in a position that we are saving something and this may be good for our ego but it is ultimately unrealistic. If we don’t care of the planet, we will be destroyed not the planet.”
Paulo Coelho’s blog
So we stand corrected by a great author! We discussed this and changed the project title to: “earth of my dream…” we all have a dream of beautiful living earth, nurturing life and promoting growth, generations after generations of mankind, animals, trees and all life forms living together in harmony…
MIND MAP ‘MY DREAM’ “Dream is not something you see in sleep; dream is something that doesn’t allow you to sleep…” - Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (former President of India)
WHY ONLY AWARENESS? We mapped our dream, now should we put our efforts together to do something for the planet? Of course it will be very positive step! Then our facilitator narrated a story to us: Once there was a mighty river, which supported many villages on its bank. Every year during the rainy season the river flooded causing lot of damage to property and washing away many homes, animals and sometimes people. Every year volunteers worked day and night to save people, distribute food, blankets and medicines. One group of villagers did not help in this noble task, instead they went up the river stream and started building a dam there. People asked them why they were not helping the people who are in trouble right now? Why were they wasting their time in building the dam? The wise leader of the group replied: “many are helping the people in distress! It is indeed a noble work! Even if we join you we will be able to help but a few more, not all! The river will flood every year and every year we will strain our energies to help the distressed, we plan to build a dam, so there will be no more floods, and no more distress!” This story made us think! Should we do some action on our own to translate our dream in reality or may be we could influence many people with our dream! That could build our dam! A generation of people, who share our dream! Yes! That is our dam! We will share our dream with others, through arts! From awareness comes thought, from thought comes actions and small actions put together cause great change!
DATA COLLECTION We need to: Research INTERNET. Talk to our Eco Club Teachers. Contact UN agencies & NGOs. Do the Survey. Who is going to do what, when, where and how? We know why we are doing these things!
QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Is Climate Change a real challenge for all of us? (yes / no) 2. Who should combat the Climate Change? United Nations Organization Government Big Companies NGOs all of us 3. Do you read articles about sustainable environment or saving water in newspapers? (yes / no) 4. What do you do with the polythene carry bags collected at home? reuse them recycle them throw them in garbage burn them 5. Can our small actions have any impact on environment? (yes / no) 6. Number following activities according to the preference you like to do them ( 1-very much and then reducing onwards...) - listen to music - read a scientific article - visit an art exhibition - listen to academic lecture - discuss or debate about climate change
Survey! Some amazing replies in the survey! If earth becomes warmer, I will switch on my A/C and put it to lowest possible temperature. A student! What impact can small actions of one person have? This is responsibility of the Government! Many adults Why should I change my life, if I can afford to waste electricity or water and pay for it, let me! Some young people Yes! I will take care of the Earth! A child Little drops of water make ocean, so our small actions put together can become a revolution. A student How to recycle a polythene carry-bag? Many people Who reads those boring articles ‘save water’, ‘save electricity’, etc? Why do they print them? Some students I am young I want to enjoy, not bother about saving earth or saving environment! Some students
What did we learn? As outcome of our research online and our interview with the teachers, we realized that when we say save planet earth, we actually are saving ourselves, or being more correct our future. The earth will continue to exist, it may not sustain life and it may be hotter or colder than now, but it will be there. We also understood that Climate Change, Water Shortage, Disappearing Forest, Over Exploitation of Natural Resources, Disappearing Species of Animals are all inter-related. Humans forget their unique responsibility towards planet earth and burn more carbon products than necessary, in turn Carbon Di-Oxide in the atmosphere increases, this leads to Global Warming, over period of years Climate changes, earth becomes hotter, ground water, very little of which is left, evaporates faster, creating acute shortage if life giving water in many parts, pushing people out of homes, destroying ecosystems and many animals which depend on these fragile ecosystem become extinct.
Story of Gwalior Gwalior is experiencing hotter summers over past few years and people are complaining of receding ground water levels, older people talk about a bird named sparrow, which used to be ubiquitous life-form all over Gwalior, now very few left, die in hundreds in the summer due to heat and lack of water, forest cover around Gwalior is receding at an alarming rate, and the trees which are disappearing are not being replaced by new ones. The situation is alarming or sometimes almost hopeless, like in case of sparrows. Even if government passes resolutions and appoints committees, eventually it is up to us stand up make the difference. What is at stake? Is it only sparrows? Or few trees? Or may be ground water? Or is it more than that? Is our future safe? Is our future generation safe?
Do we get the message? Do you get the message from the previous slide? If you don’t, then probably we should stop here!
Some of the amazing videos we found online … While searching for ways to convey message, we came upon many pictures and videos, some of them made impression on us. Two photos are shown on the left. Some videos which inspired us are: Declan Galbraith’s “Tell me why” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j6IBdHW_rY “Story of Stuff” by Tides Foundation http://www.storyofstuff.com “Unsafe Drinking Water” by Solidarity International http://www.mymodernmet.com/video/video/show?id=2100445%3AVideo%3A216306 “Under One Sky” by IFAW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVcXDZOyH9U PrasoonSapra’s blog of his drawings. http://prasoonsapra.wordpress.com/
FISHBONE DIAGRAM School No time Inertia Individual Theme not used Less awareness Among teachers No interest Failure to see relevance Co-curricular activities Focus only on own subject Media coverage boring Too much Studies No finance No public interest Not interesting Not fun Lack of info No profit Low awareness about how to save planet earth No sponsors No public interest No awareness campaigns No sponsors No sponsors Not interesting topic No profit Govt. Agencies Media Neglect this issue Focus on other issues
ROOT CAUSES We took these main root causes: ‘Save planet Earth’ Theme is rarely used for Co-curricular activities in the school No or very low public interest in this issue, so sponsors keep away from this issue and media coverage is less It's not fun, so the young generation is not interested We planned strategies around these root causes
STRATEGIES PROPOSED To organize more activities on theme ‘Save Earth – Save Ourselves’ We discussed with our Principal about organizing a Collage Competition for students of classes V & VI on 20th April, she agreed immediately. She also suggested the theme for the notice boards to be ‘Save Earth – Save Ourselves’ for month of April.
STRATEGIES PROPOSED Organize some event, which includes lot of artistic expression for ‘Save Earth – Save Ourselves’ campaign. Invite representatives of Government Agencies and media to cover this event. After much brainstorming we came up with an idea to organize an art exhibition to display the theme of our project ‘Earth of My Dream…’
STRATEGIES PROPOSED Focus on the leaders of tomorrow and make it fun for them. We know that if we want safe future, we need to focus on the leaders of tomorrow, (today we call them children!). We organized few activities based on this theme for the students of our school and in some neighbourhood children groups. The kids just loved these activities and learnt a lot through them.
STRATEGIES PROPOSED We used the information packages sent to us by Centre for Environment Education and United Nations Information Center. We even showed them the video ‘Under One Sky’ prepared for Animal Action Week by International Fund for Animal Welfare . Students liked the videos and enjoyed the activities. Each student got few stickers about how to fight Climate Change and a poster about 12 things we can do to fight Climate Change
STRATEGIES PROPOSED All the children liked the video ‘Under One Sky’ prepared by the IFAW and once they understood that 2010 is the year of Bio-Diversity declared by the United Nations, all the students wanted to do a SKIT o this theme. We prepared a short skit, which we planned to present in the Morning Assembly of the school on 22nd April.
STRATEGIES PROPOSED Earth Hour Organize pulse of activities from ‘Earth Hour’ to ‘Earth Day’. We will celebrate ‘Earth Hour’ (27 March 2010) and ‘Earth Day’ (22 April 2010) in a big way, to raise awareness about what can an individual person do to save earth. We will organize activities in the school between these two dates. The program was named ‘An Hour and A Day’. Earth Day
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 1 Earth Hour We organized a pledge campaign for Earth Hour. It was a day of Parent Teachers Meet and many parents came to the school, many of the m visited our display and signed up for the Earth Hour. 250 families signed up for the Earth Hour. If all of them kept their promise to the Earth, then we can estimate about 1000 KVA electric appliances were switched off for 1 whole hour. That is a big saving for one campaign and we hope it offsets the Carbon Footprint of our event. We printed a 10 feet by 8 feet banner, it definitely has carbon footprint, but the amount of work it did was well worth it.
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 3 Activities on the theme ‘Save Earth’ The Classroom Notice Board decoration on the theme of ‘Save Earth’ went very well. All the Notice Boards were decorated with beautiful posters or collages on the theme. Due to sudden heat wave (Climate Change) all the schools went on vacation from 19th April; so we could not have the Collage Competition. We hope to do it in July, when school reopens.
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 4 SKIT We could not present our skit in the morning special assembly on the ‘Earth Day’, as the vacations already started. So we took the skit to a Children’s class organized in a residential society. We got two students from class VI to organize it. All the children participating in the skit enjoyed it, all the parents who came to watch it enjoyed it and appreciated the initiative. Everyone liked the message to create awareness about Bio-Diversity: We all share the same sky! Animals do matter!
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 5 Earth Day Our exhibition “Earth of My Dream…” was a big success more than 3000 people visited the exhibition. Many of them left pledges on the banner. Everyone who visited the exhibition understood the message easily. The visitors were gifted durantaplants. Duranta is a decorative plant with high metabolism. This was to offset the carbon footprint of our exhibition and a token of appreciation for visiting the exhibition.
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 6 Earth Day The exhibition was our main activity to convey our dream through arts and we had worked very hard for this. Exhibition had 4 parts. Collage:centerpiece was the huge 7 feet square collage we had made together, depicting the earth at present and on the other hand the earth of our dream…
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 7 Earth Day Earth Angel: Earth Angel was our idea to give everyone chance to be the Earth Angel. It is just a cutout of cardboard, you stand behind, showing your face through the empty face of the angel and take a photo. Then there is a board showing what Earth Angel does to save mother earth. Earth Angel Action Plan: Conserve Energy “switch off when leaving room” Conserve Water “use bucket, mug. Fix leaking taps” Use Cloth Bag “say no to polythene bag” Recycle-Reuse-Reduce “as much possible, every small action counts” Be a responsible customer “buy as much needed. optimum use of gadgets. buy local”
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 8 Earth Day Thirsty Gwalior:This practical art attracted great interest from everyone. This exhibit depicted the story of thirsty crow adding pebbles to raise water level. We had a glass jar half filled with water. Visitors would pick up pebbles kept there, read the message, put them in the jar and see the water level coming up. Some of the messages written on the pebbles were : Fix leaking taps – Plant more trees – close tap while brushing – bucket bath – wash car with bucket – water harvesting – tell others to save water …
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 8 Earth Day We the citizens of Gwalior pledge: We had a huge banner 15 feet long and 7 feet tall to take pledges of visitors to save the earth. After visiting the exhibition everyone wanted to say something or pledge something, this was the pledge form for everyone. Pledges included, “I will use cloth bag”, “I will drive less, walk more”, “I will take bucket baths”, “I will buy local fruits and vegetables” “I will switch off fans and lamps when I leave room” “I will plant trees in my garden”…
ANALYZING OUTCOME - 9 Earth Day Our exhibition “Earth of My Dream…” summed up most of our strategies. Our Chief Guest was Director of the Pollution Control Board Regional Office, Gwalior Mr. R. K. Gupta, so we involved government agency. This event was covered by all the local newspapers, so we involved media also. We reached more than 3000 people. Our dream was shared by so many people. Our school management supported it whole-heartedly. The Mall management was very happy to host our exhibition.
ANALYZING OUTCOME - SURVEY We did a survey on 60 people after the Exhibition. The people included students, teachers and parents chosen at random. 50 people had taken the last survey also, this gave us good picture of our success. We recorded few of their responses also.
QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Who should combat the Climate Change? United Nations Organization Government Big Companies NGOs all of us 2. Do my small actions have impact on the environment? (yes / no) 3. What do you do with the polythene carry bags collected at home? a. reuse them b. recycle them c. throw them in garbage d. burn them 6. Do you switch off lights and fans when you leave a room (yes / no) 7. What is Earth Hour? 8. What is Earth Day? 9. Do you have any cloth bag at home? (yes / no) 10. What do you plan to do for ‘save the planet – save ourselves’ issue? 11. Any suggestions or feedback for us?
WE THE PEOPLE! AFTER BEFORE ISN’T IS FANTASTIC TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EARTH?
YES! I AM EMPOWERED! BEFORE AFTER THE REALIZATION OF OWN POWERS IS EMPOWERMENT! ONLY EMPOWERED INDIVIDUALS CAN CAUSE GREAT CHANGE!
OURGAIN! We can clearly see the gain in last two slides. People are more aware of the power of their action! We could put more charts here, to show replies of how many people will reuse plastic bags, how many will use cloth bags or how many will have bucket bath, and so on! They were all positive gains of course, and very important. Most of the people we surveyed after the project also knew great deal about ‘Earth Hour’ and ‘Earth Day’, before project very few knew about them. Still instead of more charts and numbers, we wish to submit some responses here we got during survey after the project.
FEEDBACK WE GOT… “I am very proud, that my daughter was part of this wonderful project!” “I can say I learned something about ‘Earth Hour’ & ‘Earth Day’ from my own students.” “The Mall Management congratulates the students and they are welcome every time to organize such wonderful events here! Keep it up!” “Wonderful initiative to raise awareness about environment, this exhibition did more to raise awareness than many government agencies do in a year!” “We hope to see more schools follow this example! More students should take leadership in saving the environment!” “It was wonderful to work on this project with my friends, we hope more students can participate in such projects in future.” I feel so empowered to realize even my small actions have great impact on the earth! It’s a great realization, now I feel more responsible for my actions!
FOLLOW UP We finished the project, but we wish to see more people using art to promote wellness of the earth. We now have permanent exhibition of flex banners in our school corridors about saving earth. We will create more art forms on this theme. We will organize Earth Hour and Earth Day activities every year.
PROJECT OUTCOME ACCORDING TO THE FEEDBACK WE RECEIVED, WE MADE PEOPLE THINK THAT EVERYONE CAN MAKE IMPACT ON THE EARTH AND THE CLIMATE. PEOPLE WERE ATTRACTED TO THE EXHIBITION BECAUSE OF THE ART AND TOOK THE MESSAGE. WE REALIZED THAT DREAMS CAN BE SHARED AND ONCE SHARED, THEY CAN BECOME REALITY. EVERYONE CAN BECOME EARTH ANGEL, WE JUST HAVE TO AWAKEN OUR CONSCIENCE. INCREASED AWARENESS IS LIKE STARTING A REVOLUTION, THOUGHTFUL ACTION FOLLOWS VERY SOON AND BIG CHANGE IS THE NEXT STEP! EVERYONE KNOWS SOMETHING IS WRONG IN THE CLIMATE, WE JUST NEED TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT POWER OF OUR INDIVIDUAL ACTION. ONCE PEOPLE KNOW THEIR ACTIONS HAVE IMPACT, PEOPLE WILL ACT! IT IS FUN TO WORK TOGETHER AND FEEL THE SYNERGY! OLD ,YOUTH, CHILDREN EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS IMPORTANCE OF SAVING EARTH, EVERYONE IS HAPPY TO DO SOMETHING! WE REALIZED OUR OWN POTENTIAL THROUGH ARTS! MEDIA WILL COVER GOOD NEWS DEFINITELY, IF IT IS PRESENTED ARTISTICALLY!
PERSONAL GAINS Art has a lot of power We need more such projects Dreams can be contagious Power of synergy Everyone can influence the world Human goodness can be appealed by arts Art unleashed my potential
END NOTES We have been blogging our project progress as and when it happened. There you’ll read more stories as they happened. Please visit our blog at http://dreamonwings.blogspot.com ICT Seagulls is a wonderful project; it empowers students to realize their own potential by contributing positively to society!
THANK YOU!!! We thank Dr. HayalKoksal for starting ICT Seagulls Project. We thank our school directors Mr. & Mrs. Olyai for their encouragement and support. We thank our school management especially our Principal Dr. Mrs. Alka Sharma and Head-Mistress Dr. Mrs. ShabanaRehan for guidance at all steps in this project. We thank our facilitator Mr. YogeshLondhe We thank our Eco-Club teachers and students. We thank our parents & teachers for guidance. We thank management of Din Dayal City Mall for their support. We thank Pollution Control Board Regional Office, Gwalior We thank the media for showing interest in our initiative to create awareness about protecting the earth. We thank Information Officer of United Nations Information Center for sending us information leaflets and movies from UN. We thank Centre for Environment Education for sending us information packages of their campaign “CO2 Pick Right”. We thank all our friends at Little Angels for encouragement.