Once again, rural, semi-urban and government schools corner most of the awards
These schools have taken up rainwater harvesting, use of public transport, waste management and conservation of energy
as long-term actions
Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) Gobar Times national and state-level Green School Awards for 2010-11 announced and presented. This is the fifth year of the awards
Awards given to schools which excel in natural resource management, based on environmental audit done by students
15,000 schools from across India participate in CSE’s Green Schools Programme, which confers the awards. 144 qualify for the current awards
20 National Awards given – Delhi schools win only two
Shiela Dikshit, Delhi chief minister, gives out Rolling Trophy and state awards to Delhi schools
Indian Ocean, the contemporary rock band, hands over the National Awards
New Delhi, July 15, 2011: Two little known schools from Andhra Pradesh grabbed the eyeballs – and the top Gobar Times Green Schools awards – in the fifth edition of the keenly contested environmental honours here today. These awards are conferred every year by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to recognise schools in India that excel in their natural resource management.
The 2010-11 awards were given away by Shiela Dikshit, chief minister of Delhi and members of Indian Ocean, the iconic contemporary rock band.
Speaking on the occasion, Sunita Narain, director general, CSE, said: “India’s schools and their students are doing a lot for the environment. It is heartening to see that despite their limited resources, our rural, semi-urban, mid-rung and government educational institutions are actually leading from the front in driving change.”
The awards are being given out since 2006 under CSE’s Green Schools Programme (GSP). Under this programme, schools across India carry out rigorous self-audit on environmental practices within their own premises, following a set of guidelines issued by CSE (for details, please visit the CSE website).
Among this year’s winners are Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya from Ongole (Andhra Pradesh); Kendriya Vidyalaya Number 1 from Uppal in Hyderabad; Kendriya Vidyalaya, Vigyan Vihar, in New Delhi; and Salwan Public School from Old Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi (see attached list of award winners).
2010-11’s winners and losers
“About 15,000 schools from across 18 states and two Union territories have participated in the programme this year (compared to 5,000 in 2009). Of these, 144 have qualified for the final round of assessments for the awards, and the 20 ‘greenest’ of them have been awarded here today,” said Sumita Dasgupta, programme director of CSE’s Environment Education Unit which manages this initiative.
The awards are divided into two main categories – national and state. The 20 national awards are further sub-divided into two segments of 10 awards each – the new schools (those which have done the audit for the first time and have excelled) and changemakers (those which have already done the audit once before and continue to excel).
Of the 20 national toppers this year, only two belong to Delhi: they are Salwan Public School from Old Rajinder Nagar and St George’s School, Alaknanda. In 2009, six Delhi schools had made the grade.
Among the overall national bests are Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya from Ongole (Andhra Pradesh), which made it to the top of the table in the ‘changemakers’ category; and Kendriya Vidyalaya Number 1 from Uppal in Hyderabad, which was the best in the ‘new’ schools segment
At the state-level in Delhi, the two top schools are Kendriya Vidyalaya, Vigyan Vihar and Salwan Public School from Old Rajinder Nagar.
The trends: schools make a difference
Said Dasgupta: “Our programme and awards have seen the emergence of a large group of schools under the ‘changemaker’ category who have really made a difference in the way they manage their resources. For instance, most of them are now real time water managers -- setting up infrastructure, monitoring their use and measuring their impact. All of them have a school water policy in place, and they ensure that it is being put to practice.”
These schools have moved to using public transport or eco-friendly school buses. Energy conservation has been also a priority, with schools taking care to consume less and use energy-efficient equipment. Most significantly, over 90 per cent of the schools in the ‘changemakers’ category have declared themselves ‘zero waste zones’.