Environmental issues have passed a crucial threshold and we feel that there is a need that each one of us gets involved to minimize the environment challenge. Youth being both drivers as well as key target group, play a vital role as agent of change for environment conservation. With aim of tapping this potential of youth, CEE and Regional Institute of Education (RIE) Ajmer, organised a regional level Prakriti Mela. Under the project, an orientation workshop was organised for youth of RIE Ajmer on environment education through activities with the participants for developing understanding on how each element in the environment is interlinked.
The session also helped to sensitize students about how our daily activities affect environment and how education process can aid to come up with innovative or alternative ideas which will in turn help in relieving the pressure on our environment, after-all small steps leads to big change. Post activity students were asked to think on the issues that are affecting our environment and group these into broad themes. While discussing, these issues were categorized in 5 themes: Water management, Biodiversity, Waste Management, Energy and Culture & Heritage. Participants were equally divided in these groups and were given an overnight time to come up with ideas for action projects relevant to their themes that can be done in campus and displayed during “Prakriti Mela”. Next day teams drew their ideas and activities that they will be conduct during the Prakriti Mela. The team presented those ideas in front of all other participants for the inputs.
The entire orientation workshop generated positive atmosphere regarding environment education among the students, who realized that they will have to start from their own to make a change. A regional level Prakriti Mela was organized from 16th to 20th February 2015 at Ajmer as a major event to showcase their education efforts in Environment Education and Education for Sustainable Development. A variety of environment education activities were conducted during the event including Bird watching, Environmental Quiz- Kaun Banega Paryavaran Mitra Champion 2015, poster making, slogan writing competitions, treasure hunt, expert lectures, etc. More than 200 students and teachers from 41 schools nationally and RIE participated in the event. Shortlisted participants shared their experiences of project-based learning methodology through presentation during the event and exhibition on exemplar project. About 1000 visitors from local schools of Ajmer city visited the exhibition and participated in different activities like face painting, Snakes and ladder, Web of life, Break the pyramid, etc. conducted simultaneously with the exhibition during the Mela. The event ended with a valediction ceremony and felicitation of 20 schools, 17 students and 16 teachers shortlisted nationally for Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2014 and winners of various competitions organised during the event.