|Posted by AOE on September 14, 2020 at 8:05 AM|
Report by Deepika Singh
The program was designed and implemented by the AOE secretary Ms Deepika Singh with support of Fr Joseph Gonsalves the Head of AOE for the students of St Andrews College, Bandra (SOP) SOCIAL OUT REACH PROGRAM 2019-20 in collaboration with Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE).
This project was designed with various objectives, such as:
- To give the college youth an exposure of rural realities
- Group travel using the public transport
- A date with nature: an opportunity to encounter nature and mother soil concretely by engaging in plantation
- To engage in reflection on an inter-religious approach to environment protection and eco-friendly living
Accordingly two activities were held first at Gorai, through Fatima Convent in their wadi on December 20, 2019 wherein total 44 SOP students planted 28 fruit trees followed by participating in a session comprising of sharing their concerns, personal experiences and the second activity was held on 20th January 2020 at Anmol Center (Don Bosco Uttan) where by 48 students planted about 85 saplings of fruit and shared giving native trees.
The team was super excited while for the first project they travelled by jetty for an hour and then by auto to the village-Manori while second one all travelled by train and bus. The whole tour through the creek and villages was in itself a treat for them as they were freed from the daily routine classroom atmosphere.
The plantation was followed by a short informal session comprising of brief input on current environmental scenario, impacts of climate change, environmental threats and some of the positive contributions of people and NGOs. The students were invited to share their concerns, ideas on environment protection, their experience of the plantation activities and the feedback if any.
The Students expressed anxiety over the ever increasing pollution of the land, soil, water and the coasts through various industrial activities, house hold wastes, pollution through vehicles, etc. They also expressed deep sadness over felling of hundreds of trees for so called development projects. Few students also informed that they are involved in personally motivated voluntary activities of tree plantation and other activities with various NGOs.
Overall feedback of both projects by the students was very encouraging. Some of them also shared their feelings and gratitude for the “first time” ever experience of even of holding the pickaxe/shovel etc. Digging and planting the saplings was much appreciated as this helped them engage with mother earth and soil very concretely. Since the nuns invited them to come back to the plantation site any time just to watch and review their plants, everyone wishes to come back at some point of time to revisit the site.
Everyone appreciated and thanked for the wonderful experience and expressed hope to be connected. They also thanked the AOE for sponsoring the project specifically the sapling and the refreshments for the students.