CEE East is implementing the Urja Chetana programme since 2012 supported by Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited (CESC Ltd.) as part of their CSR initiatives. Urja Chetana is an environment sustainability education programme being implemented for generating awareness and actions amongst students, teachers and community about environment and sustainable development. The programme has been implemented in around 50 government and private schools till now in and around Kolkata through eco-/energy clubs. The programme provides a platform to the schools to undertake action projects through community outreach, helping children to share and expand their understanding, thereby bringing about change that has significantly reduced wastage of energy, rainwater, manage waste and nurture plants.
Numerous capacity building workshops on composting, waste paper recycling with product development, rain water harvesting and medicinal plant cum butterfly garden are conducted regularly for the students and teachers. These helped implement and sustain their best practices in school. The teachers are sensitized on different facets of environment conservation and sustainability in the teachers training programme. Training on project based learning for educators are also integrated in the initiative which helps them to establish linkage with their subject thereby designing assignments. Under the project, various exposure trips to botanical garden, composting yards, paper recycling units, thermal power plants, Indian museum and biodiversity park were organized to augment their classroom learning. Various competitions held aim to enhance the creative and lateral skills of the students. The schools celebrate the special environment days with the other members in the community. The students propagate their knowledge gained under the programme to the nearby communities by conducting series of community outreach and awareness campaigns, rallies, clean-up drive, tree plantation with senior citizens etc on the issues related to environment conservation. Under theme of traditions and culture, schools celebrated Saraswati Puja in an eco-friendly with an emphasis to reduce plastic usage as much as possible and adopt natural and alternative ways to celebrate puja without polluting the environment nearby.
The programme has won CSR Apex award under innovative strategy 2017, Shahar Green Karo recognition award of Earth Day Network and Apex award 2019 for popularisation of Science.
Young Advocates for Clean Air
CEE East has been working withy with schools of the region on a programme develop capacity of students on pollution and build a network of Young Advocates for Clean Air (YACA). The programme is supported by US Consulate General of Kolkata. The program has overall objective to engage students in creating awareness in community and their peers on ways of mitigating air pollution in the city. The initial mini project ideas made by students were reviewed by panel of experts and were then implemented by the students. The students did these short studies and surveys with 47 lead students and 22 teachers across 4 major hospitals and 20 spots in Kolkata under overall guidance of CEE. The SPM concentration was also analysed by students at these locations. Awareness campaigns on No Crackers, reducing vehicle born emissions and plantation of air pollution mitigating species were conducted by schools for community suggesting the ways to improve air quality of the city.
The recommendations made by the peer students of 10 schools were presented to expert panels and were requested to be implemented. The peer schools who were trained on the surveys, studies and measurement of SPM through portable devices are now percolating this knowledge gained to new government schools.
Young Leaders for Change- SECA
CEE Kolkata in collaboration with US Consulate General of Kolkata implemented a bi-state level programme -School Eco Club Action (SECA), focusing on developing and strengthening the capacity building of eco clubs of 20 schools of Kolkata and Patna. The project also aimed to develop a cadre of Young Leaders of Change (YLC), who were trained and provided support to implement innovative action oriented environment and development project in their school or neighbourhood.
CEE team was involved in the formation and restructuring of eco clubs of the participating schools along with conducting capacity building of the students through classroom sessions and beyond school activities. The two days Young Leader for Change Summit was organized for schools of Kolkata and Patna with the objective of training the shortlisted project teams on the different facets of leadership, sustainability, environment and development. The idea was to help them streamline their envisaged environmental action projects to be implemented in their schools/immediate neighbourhood over next 1 year.
Nearly 12 theme based action projects were taken up and implemented by students from Kolkata (10) and Patna (2). About 4160 students and 40 teachers from Kolkata and 1625 students and 10 teachers from Patna have benefitted from numerous classroom sessions taken by CEE team. Two exposure trips were conducted to augment the students learning on environmental topics. Almost 23 teachers and 62 students (directly) and 115 teachers and 217 students (indirectly) have been benefitted from the educational exposure visits. About 30 teachers have been trained through Teachers’ Training Programme on various aspects of environment and sustainable development. The community outreach programmes have helped reaching out to 647 community members. Poster with 28 environmental messages and a set of 4 posters were developed as IEC during the period. A web based interactive portal has been designed, which is dynamic and enables students to explore ideas, write, share and learn about their environment. A documentary showcasing the achievements and key takeaways (while implementing thematic action projects) of the young leaders has been made. The YouTube link for viewing the documentary is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_5zS8hFIFU.
Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) in West Bengal
CEE East in collaboration with Department of Environment, Government of WB facilitated activities and outreach of Science Express Climate Action Special Train in West Bengal. A detailed orientation programme was conducted by CEE East at New Jalpaiguri for the communicators and facilitators from West Bengal and Assam. The training made all the selected facilitators, aware of the various aspects of climate change and the activities to be conducted during pre-train and on platforms. The facilitators were provided with kits containing materials required to conduct the activities to create awareness.
CEE team along with the NGO facilitators conducted various pretrain and platform activities like competitions, games, demonstrations, quizzes etc. with the students and visitors with the educational activity kits. The train was stationed at 6 stations of West Bengal and about 9,978 students & teachers were benefitted through the pre train orientation in each area around the station and a total of 203106 people (students and local public) had visited the Science Express during its course of journey in West Bengal. An intensive feedback survey was also conducted for all those who visited SECAS in West Bengal.
PCRA-National Painting and Essay Competitions
CEE East facilitated the National Level Painting Competition (for class 6 to 10) organized by Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) in West Bengal. The aim of the competition has been to make students aware and make them think about ways of fuel conservation while drawing their vision for the competition. The events were held in 18 schools in Kolkata and nearby districts, where around 2113 students participated in painting competition and 808 students participated in essay competitions related to the theme. Three of the entries from the students of West Bengal secured places in national level competition
Established as a Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India.