To commemorate the World Environment Day, United International School organized a four-day ‘United Festival of Earth 2022’ at the school campus on Hennur – Bagalur Road from the 7th of June to Friday 10th June 2022. The festival organized expert talks and interaction with students on water conservation, lakes, rainwater harvesting, air pollution, solid waste management; tree pledge by students, tree planting on campus and distribution of more than thousand saplings to students, parents and school staff on the last day. The subject experts spoke on various issues plaguing the city of Bengaluru and the environment and simple steps that students could adopt to make it better. Experts included Dr. T. V. Ramachandra, Centre of Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, V. Ramprasad, Co-Founder, Friends of Lakes, Sridhar Punati, Former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force) and Dr. Pratima Singh, Research Scientist and Leader – Air Pollution Group, CSTEP, IISc.
Dr. T. V. Ramachandra, Centre of Ecological Sciences, IISc Bengaluru spoke on pollution and solid waste that has drastically increased in Bengaluru and how they are polluting the water sources in the city. He spoke of how he had personally witnessed sidewalks and roadsides with piles of garbage mostly containing plastic waste. He spoke on the use and disposal of plastic, its effects on the environment, health risks, etc. In conclusion he led the more than 1200 students with a Tree Pledge to protect mother earth and the environment, to plant trees, to segregate waste and to say a resounding NO TO PLASTIC.
Mr. V. Ramprasad, Co-Founder of Friends of Lakes highlighted the importance of rainwater harvesting at homes and how people can contribute towards rejuvenation of ground water by digging ground water recharge wells. The talk was followed by distribution of United For Trees – Festival of Earth stickers to all the students and staff at the school.
The concluding day began with the talk on air pollution by Dr. Pratima Singh, Air Pollution Group, CSTEP, IISc and was followed by a talk on trees by former PCCF – HOFF of Karnataka Sridhar Punati, who spoke on trees of Bengaluru and emphasized the importance of bamboo as carbon sinks and how bamboo Oxygen Parks can be set up across the city. The talk was followed by bamboo sapling planting on the school premises by the students and the visiting guests.
Commenting on the Festival of Earth at United International School, Ms. Rajini Alexander, Administrator, said, “we are extremely delighted to organize the environment week ‘Festival of Earth 2022’ this year at the school campus and get well-known experts, activists and retired forest service officials to interact with our students and unravel the issues facing the environment and the steps each student could take to solve. The institution will continue to host such environment and sustainability related talks and events with the community so that a cleaner, greener and healthier environment is created in the city of Bengaluru.”