NEW DELHI: Tata Steel and TERI are jointly working on The Green School Project since 2017, with the aim of helping students comprehend their relationship with nature and make concerted efforts to conserve it for a ‘quality’ environment with improved standards of living through effective resource management initiatives at local levels.
Currently in its third phase, this year an idea was conceptualised to compile stories contributed by students exhibiting their creativity and sharing their perspectives on the environment and the world around them. With this objective in mind, a story-writing competition was organised wherein students were asked to showcase folk tales around their vicinity.
The competition received an overwhelming response manifesting in approximately 500 entries. Thirty best stories were selected from Jharkhand and Odisha and included in the book ‘Meri Ek Kahani’.
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said, “Aptly themed Restore Our Earth, this Earth Day 2021 let us focus on restoring the earth’s ecosystems and learn from indigenous people who know the best about environment and biodiversity. Leveraging the medium of stories, Meri Ek Kahani, comprising story contributions by Green School students and essays by eminent personalities, aims to revive the traditions and rich knowledge of the indigenous communities who have lived in harmony with nature for generations together.”
Speaking on compiling of indigenous stories, Pankaj Satija, Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel, and Editor of the book, said, “Global Biodiversity Outlook-5 report released last year has once again highlighted the need to expedite progress on Aichi Target 18 under Strategic Goal E which focusses on respecting and integrating traditional knowledge, participatory planning, and capacity building. Indigenous people in India are the best resources on biodiversity and it is imperative that we leverage innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities for a sustainable tomorrow.”
“Short stories by school children, part of Meri Ek Kahani compilation, is a small step towards learning from indigenous people and nature. Participation of children in projects related to waste management, energy efficiency and biodiversity will definitely accelerate a transformative change towards sustainability,” Satija added.
The book comprises two sections. The first section includes contributions by eminent traditional knowledge experts such as Parmananda Patel, Asoka Kumar Sen, Smt Belmati Champia and Jiren Topno. The write-ups provided by them offer a perfect setting to understand and comprehend various segments of traditional wisdom and are an excellent prelude that helps the reader to understand the second section that comprises stories contributed by students.
The Green School Project is printing 7000 copies of the book for wider dissemination and outreach to students and teachers in Jharkhand and Odisha.