Mumbai: Youth for Aarey (YFA), a movement of schools and college students in Mumbai, will be celebrating Earth Day weekend with a series of events in the city to preserve and honour the surviving green lungs in the city.
The students, and the Adivasi residents of Aarey forest, will share their thoughts and concerns about Aarey through a series of plays, dances, art and photography shows at the Bandra Carter Road promenade on April 20.
“Home to two rivers — Mithi and Oshiwara, Aarey and such forests provide temperature control and help provide fresh oxygen to the city. This Earth Day we will display our gratitude for the countless ecological and recreational facilities that Aarey provide,” said Sukriti, who is spearheading in organising the event.
The entertainment events and workshops will introduce the youth to the natural splendour of the city and the importance of preserving Aarey, Maharashtra or Mahim Nature Park and Sanjay Gandhi Nature Park and other green spaces in Mumbai.
“Rapid disappearance of mangroves and forests have created a threat of flooding in Mumbai. Our government should make protection of forests and wetlands as their primary priority. It is heartening to see young students joining hands to create awareness about the importance of forests in our life,” said Amrita Bhattarcharjee, member of Aarey Conservation Group who is supporting YFA in the initiative. YFA, informs its members, was born out of a community social responsibility programme around environmental sustainability conducted for seventh grade students of the American School in Mumbai.
These students and their teachers visited Aarey Milk Colony to better understand what Mumbai’s environmental landscape looked like. They began the movement with the help of concerned Mumbai citizens and the Academy for Earth Sustainability, a social enterprise educating students on environmental issues.