Navi Mumbai: With a clear objective to teach them the significance of saving the environment, environmentalists have called for introducing and making environment-related subjects compulsory from Kindergarten (KG) to post-graduation (PG).
Participating in a panel discussion on the significance of wetlands organised by the Navi Mumbai Environment Preservation Society (NMEPS), an environmental group, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar strongly advocated that nature-related issues should be part of the curriculum.
"EVS as a subject is forgotten after primary school"
“Unfortunately, EVS as a subject is forgotten after primary school,” he pointed out and called for making it a compulsory subject for all faculties.
The event was held at DPS School in Nerul, as a culmination of inter-school competitions on the occasion of the UN-Driven World Wetland Day that was observed on February 2.
Responding to questions from moderator nature film-maker Aishwarya Sridhar, Kumar said it is sad to see that the officials responsible for handling the environment need to be sensitised on the subject. The officials, drawing salaries from the taxpayers' money, must be held accountable for environmental damages, he said.
"Youth must raise questions about environmental degradation"
NGO Vanashakti director Stalin D said children must start asking questions on environmental aspects. The schools should invite officials and scientists for interactive sessions. “Elders seem to be running away and hence it is for the youth and the children to start raising questions about environmental degradation.”
Attacking the casual manner in which the government officials treat mangrove and wetland destruction for paving the way for infrastructure projects, Stalin said, “We should first fix the value of the property being destroyed and then ask for compensation”.
BNHS deputy director Dr Rahul Khot stressed that wetlands should not be destroyed at any cost. Destruction is the easiest and fastest way, restoration is tough, he said. Dr Khot also made a presentation on the importance of birds and BNHS research in the subject.
Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan, said wetlands are being systematically destroyed in Uran under the guise of infrastructure projects.
NMPES president V K Gandhi said the organisation has been at the forefront of environment preservation initiatives and has been organizing activities such as a series of inter-school competitions. The NMEPS is the force behind the Wetland Protection movement in the city as it took on the authorities to fight a protracted legal battle to try and save the NRI and TS Chanakya wetlands.
The event also saw a Nukkad play and the final round of a quiz on the environment conducted by Anupam Verma.
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