Going green

Alka Kapur

Modern Public School (MPS), Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, started its green journey with a conscious mission to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and address environmental challenges by developing a learning ecosystem that integrates sustainability across activities and promotes critical thinking about ecological issues. The school followed a sincere and unyielding approach in this direction. It earned immense plaudits apart from receiving the Green School Certificate from the Centre for Science and Environment in 2022-23 and being accredited with the GREEN rating in the Green School Programme Audit 2023-24 by CSE.

The avid leadership of Principal Alka Kapur, whose role is phenomenal in the school’s overall development, including its green transformation, created a smooth path for Modernites to follow and succeed in sustainable goals. She herself is the recipient of many prestigious certifications and awards from institutes of international repute, such as Take Action Global, Centre for Science and Environment, and The Climate Reality Project (India & South Asia).

Recently, MPS was nominated amongst the top 10 green schools of Delhi as a Green Model School. A team of 10 students under 5 teachers was required to undertake a detailed analysis of five critical parameters essential to be a green school such as – energy utilization, waste management, land utilization, bio diversity, air quality and water quality.

MPS firmly believes in sustainable development. It has instituted the Eco Club Green Warrior to imbibe environmental values in its students. The school’s leadership and administration realize that a green school’s mission and objectives should be dynamic, adapting to evolving environmental challenges and incorporating the latest sustainability practices and technologies.

Engaging the whole school community in these efforts is essential for creating a culture of sustainability that extends beyond the school premises. Based on this ideology, MPS’ Eco Club promotes greenways in the school in terms of infrastructure, energy utilization, water conservation, waste generation, and treatment. Recently, when Blue Nudge, one of the leading advocates for environmental conservation, clinched the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the most paper collected for recycling in 24 Hours, MPS played a pivotal role in this breakthrough mission.

The detailed efforts being undertaken in the school for a greener and cleaner tomorrow are as follows:

  • The Eco Club at MPSfocuses on infrastructure, energy utilization, water conservation, waste generation, and treatment both in the school and outside. The club encourages students to recycle paper and conduct tree census programs to promote afforestation and understanding of green wealth. It also conducts a tree census survey to measure plants’ growth, health, and economic importance.
  • A compost pit is used to deposit green biodegradable waste, such as fallen leaves and mowed grass, which is naturally processed to generate manure. Students contribute vegetable and fruit peels to the compost pit, learning about the natural process of composting and reducing waste.
  • The school also has a herbal garden called Sanjivini, which houses herbal and medicinal plants. The garden is a knowledge centre for students and teachers to learn about medicinal wealth and promote natural health and fitness. The garden features approximately 200 plants, each with a detailed description of its medicinal properties and usage.
  • MPS has implemented several initiatives to promote waste reduction and reuse, including creating products using recycled materials. The school has also implemented a zero waste policy, requiring students to generate minimum paper waste in classrooms and collect it through cleanliness monitors. This green school also organizes community service campaigns, such as anti-cracker rallies, anti-malaria and anti-dengue campaigns, and Earth Day celebrations.
  • MPS has also installed a rain water harvesting system to monitor annual rainfall and encourage students to conserve water. The school encourages carpooling for transportation, with 12 buses running on CNG and private CNG vehicles being rented. Besides, Eco-Club monitors students’ use of various modes of transport and fuel types.
  • The school also supports the Karo Sambhav Program, which recycles e-waste for a better tomorrow. Karo Sambhav is an environmentally beneficial and socially responsible e-waste Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) that aims to make recycling a way of life. MPS is also an active participant in the Rally for Rivers campaign and has been awarded for its eco-friendly practices.

Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, has taken significant steps to promote sustainability awareness among students. The school instills a sense of environmental responsibility through workshops, field trips, and eco-friendly initiatives. Annual sustainability quizzes, paper presentations, and debates engage students in critical thinking. MPS also embraces sustainable infrastructure and community outreach. These efforts ensure students understand and actively contribute to a more sustainable future. MPS stands as a beacon of sustainability in Shalimar Bagh, inspiring the next generation of environmentally conscious citizens.

The bottom line

All in all, MPS has implemented various initiatives to promote waste reduction, recycling, and community service. These initiatives have helped the school become an efficient and eco-friendly institution that not only contributes to environmental sustainability but also enables students to mould their personalities according to the demands of a sustainable future.

The author is Principal of Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh. She is a distinguished educationist, climate activist, and social worker, renowned for her transformative leadership and numerous contributions to education and community service. She can be reached at info@mpsshalimarbagh.com

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