New Delhi: In a first, Annual Meet of the State Nodal Agencies implementing the National Green Corps ‘Ecoclub’ programme of the Ministry of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), organized by the Ministry’s Environment Education Division, in collaboration with the GEER Foundation, Gujarat was held from 20th to 21st December 2019 in Kevadia, Gujarat.
Senior officers from 22 States and UTs implementing the programme alongwith about 200 Ecoclub students from Gujarat participated. An exhibition also showcased the projects, resource material, handicrafts items etc. prepared by the Ecoclub students across the States/UTs. The event witnessed a huge footfall, even of other tourists and visitors.
Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) is an established central sector scheme of the Ministry continuing since 1983-84 and aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation. Under the scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) ‘Ecoclub’ programme was initiated in 2001-2002 with the objective to impart knowledge to school children through hands on experience, about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein. The programme aims to inculcate proper attitude towards environment and sensitize children on issues related to environment and development.
The meeting acknowledged the contributions made by the State/UT Governments in implementing the NGC ‘Ecoclub’ programme and certificates of appreciation were given to agencies. Further, Best Ecoclub Award at National level were awarded to the students of the Ecoclub from Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Telangana who secured First, Second and Third position respectively and Consolation prizes were awarded to Ecoclubs from Gujarat, Sikkim and Karnataka. The publication developed by the Environment Education Division for the Ecoclub students were released namely ‘Glimpses of Ecoclubs’, Handbook on International Environment Conventions and Programmes and Handbook on Important Days of Environmental significance.
The scheme is continuing to build young cadres of students and trigger their sensitivity towards environment protection and conservation. It is envisaged that number of Ecoclubs shall be enhanced from about 1.5 lakh at present to 2 lakh in the ensuing year 2020-21.