156000 schools are enrolled in Paryavaran Mitra as of March 2012. 

Definitely we can work together, the youth and myselfand we are goingto work in a bigway” - Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on being appointed the Paryavaran Ambassador.

Paryavaran Mitra is a nationwide joint initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, ArcelorMittal India, and Centre for Environment Education. It aims to create a network of 2 crore young leaders, from schools across the country, who have the awareness, knowledge, commitment, and potential to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability in their own spheres of influence.

The student is the prime focus of the Programme. A student, as a Paryavaran Mitra, shows commitment to make a difference by taking action. The action could be towards to resolving a local issue, or to improve the condition within the school premises, and at home, or in the community in five thematic areas: Water and Sanitation, Energy, Biodiversity and Greening, Waste Management, and Culture and Heritage.

The thematic approach helps break some of the compartments and look at surroundings in a holistic way, and become aware of the inter linkages. The themes have been chosen because they are areas we engage with on a daily basis, and provide enough opportunity to take actions that make a difference.

13,000 teachers and 1.62 lakh students have been oriented about the programme directly and indirectly through more than 700 Master Trainers and more than 160 partners across the country.
The programme is being implemented in partnership with 165 agencies including the Pollution Control Boards in most states, 160 NGOs, school networks like the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Army Public Schools, and with the support of Education Departments in West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, and Karnataka. It has also associated with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)/Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan in Himachal Pradesh, Assam.
‘Explore, Discover, Think, Act’ booklet developed under the project has a menu of 51 action project ideas. It integrates the Earth Charter Principles in the form of open ended questions that introduce ethics and values discussion in the classroom.

For enhanced outreach it has been translated into 12 Indian languages - Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Assamese, Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Oriya, Bengali. The booklet along with a Poster of the Environment Oath by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and a Poster depicting the fi ve themes have been distributed to enrolled schools.

Besides this, Paryavaran Mitra Handbook is being developed which includes activity ideas for curricular linked teaching, tips for carrying out action projects, as well as suggestions for involving the whole school towards becoming a Paryavaran Mitra

Action in schools
Over 7000 schools have carried out and reported on their action projects. Each addressed a local environmental issue in the school premises or improvement of the environment around the school. Some examples:

Water and Sanitation Energy
Students of Quaid-E-Millet school in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, reuse waste water from the wash basins in a nearby garden by diverting the outlets from the basins.

DLP School in Paschim Bangal installed solar panels with support from a Central Govt Scheme, which they are using and maintaining in the school premises. 

Waste Management
Students of Delhi Public School, Chandigarh manage the organic waste generated in the school by composting.

Biodiversity and Greening
Students of Kulikawn H.S. School, Mizoram have planted a vegetable garden in the school and are maintaining it.
Culture and Heritage
Students of Govt. Girls H.School, Chhattisgarh, showcased tribal art and culture they documented in their state, at the national event for PM in Goa.

For more information contact:

Pramod Sharma
Centre for Environment Education
Nehru Foundation for Development, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad 380 054 India Phone: (079) 2685 8002 - 05; Fax: (079) 2685 8010 Email: paryavaranmitra@ceeindia.org; Website: www.paryavaranmitra.in

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