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Eco-Clubs

We all know that we are part of the environment we live in. And the solution to many environmental problems lie in our attitude towards environment. Be it awareness to keep our surroundings clean or the realisation to conserve natural resources by re-using and recycling wherever possible, they all are attitudinal. But changing the attitudes of 100 crore people is not going to happen overnight. The best way to attempt to bring about a change in the attitudes in the society is through children. They are impressionable and our future. With this realisation the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India has decided to launch the National Green Corps (NGC) Programme in all the districts in all the States and Union Territories of India. The membership will be about 250 schools in every district in the country including all the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and all other schools under CBSE and ICSE.

NGC in Karnataka - Introduction

The National Green Corps Programme was initiated in 2001 with GOI grant support. The programme was initially being implemented by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) was later taken up by the Karnataka Rajya Vigyana Parishat (KRVP), the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology. Later on it was implemented by the Indo Norwegian Environment Programme Secretariat, under Dept of Forest, Ecology & Environment. Presently, EMPRI is implementing NGC with effect from January 2009 in Karnataka.

Objectives

  • To make children understand environment and environmental problems.
  • To provide environmental education opportunities for school children.
  • To utilise the unique position of school children as conduits for awareness of the society at large.
  • To facilitate children's participation in decision making in areas related to environment & development.
  • To bring children into direct contact with the environmental problems facing the society they live in and make them think of solutions encourgaing them to orient themselves in action based programmes.

Methodology

  • The scheme will be operated through Eco-clubs to be formed in member schools.
  • Each such club will have 30-50 children, who show interest in environment related issues.
  • Each Eco-club will be supervised by a teacher in-charge, who is selected from among the teachers of the member school on the basis of his/her interest in environment related issues.
  • Each Eco-club will be provided with a kit of resource material in the language of their preference apart from a token monetary grant of 2,500 per annum for organising different activities.
  • There will be District Implementation and Monitoring Committee to supervise, organise training for in-charge teachers and monitor periodically the implementation of scheme at the district level.
  • There will be a State Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the scheme.
  • The State Nodal Agency will coordinate the implementation of the scheme in the State and organize related activities like training to Master Trainers.
  • The National Steering Committee will give overall direction to the programme and ensure linkages at all levels.

Selection of Master Trainers

From each district, the District Implementation and Monitoring Committee would select one or two Master Trainers. They can be from among the In-charge teachers of selected schools. They would be first trained at the State Capital. They in turn would train In-charge teachers in the district.

Financial implications

(a) Financial Assistance
  1. Each school with an Eco-club would be given an annual financial assistance of ` 2,500. The student members of the Eco-club and In-charge teacher would decide on using the sum for their activities in consultation with the Principal/Head Master.
  2. The State Nodal Agency would be given 5% of total annual expenditure on the scheme in that State towards administrative expenses. The money could be used towards stationary, postage and other expenses.
  3. For selection, printing and distribution of locally relevant resource material, the Nodal Agency would be given a financial assistance at the rate of ` 50 per Eco-club.
  4. For organising the training of Master Trainers, the Nodal Agency would be given a financial assistance at the rate of ` 990 per master trainer. (It would be calculated at the rate of 1.6 Master Trainers per district).
  5. For organising the training of In-charge teachers, the Nodal Agency would be given a financial assistance at the rate of ` 335 per In-charge teacher.
  6. The State Resource Agency would be given 3% of total annual expenditure on the scheme in the State as their honorarium. The sum includes travel expenses and other administrative expenditure. No other financial assistance would be given to the Resource Agency for their assistance in the implementation of the scheme.
(b) Fund-flow mechanism
  1. Except for the funds meant for Resource Agency where the money would be directly released, all other funds would be routed through the State Nodal Agency.
  2. First installment of financial assistance released to the State Nodal Agency would consist of:
    • 100% funds meant for selection, printing and distribution of locally relevant resource material.
    • 100% funds meant for training of Master Trainers.
    • 100% funds meant for training of In-charge teachers.
    • 50% of funds meant for financial assistance to Eco-clubs.
  3. Second installment would be released after the training for In-charge teachers is completed and resource material is distributed to Eco-clubs. After adjusting the first installment against actual expenditure, up to 30% of funds meant for financial assistance to Eco-clubs would be released. Final installment would be released subsequently.
  4. The funds meant for State Resource Agency would be released directly to the agency.

Suggested activities for Eco-Clubs

  • Organise seminars, debates, lectures and popular talks on environmental issues in the school.
  • Field visits to environmentally important sites including polluted and degraded sites, wildlife parks, etc.
  • Organise rallies, marches, human chains, and street theater at public places with a view to spread environmental awareness.
  • Action based activities like tree plantation, cleanliness drives both within and out side the school campus.
  • Grow kitchen gardens, maintain vermi-composting pits, construct water harvesting structures in school, practice paper re-cycling, etc.
  • Prepare inventories of polluting sources and forward it to enforcement agencies.
  • Organise awareness programmes against defecation in public places, pasting posters in public places and to propagate personal hygiene habits like washing hands before meals, etc.
  • Maintenance of public places like parks, gardens both within and outside the school campus.
  • Mobilise action against environmentally unsound practices like garbage disposal in unauthorised places, unsafe disposal of hospital waste, etc.

Role of State Nodal Agency

  • To nominate a Nodal Officer.
  • To ensure identification of member schools by the District Committee in consultation with the Resource Agency.
  • To select locally relevant resource material in consultation with the Resource Agency and get it printed.
  • To ensure identification of Master Trainers by District Committees and organise training for them with the help of Resource Agency.
  • To ensure training programme for In-charge teachers in districts.
  • To ensure distribution of grants and resource material to Eco-clubs.
  • To receive quarterly reports from District Committees and compile them in the form of reports and send them to Central Nodal Officer in the given format.
  • To organise state level activities and coordinate them.
  • To organise publicity to the programme to encourage more schools and students to join Eco-clubs.

Role of Resource Agency

Each State/UT is being provided with the services of one Resource Agency for the better implementation of the scheme. The main role of the Resource Agency is that of a consultant and a facilitator. The agency is expected to perform the following functions:

  • Assist the State Nodal Agency/District Committees in the identification of schools in each district.
  • Help the Nodal Agency in selecting locally relevant resource material.
  • Help the Nodal Agency in organising training programme for Master Trainers by providing technical inputs and resource persons.
  • Assist District Committees in drawing up action plans and in organising district level training programmes for In-charge teachers by providing resource persons as well as in drawing up training schedule.
  • To advise the State Nodal Agency in all the aspects of implementation of the Scheme.

Constitution of District Level and State level Committees

District Level Implementation and Monitoring Committee (DIC), has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner to oversee the progress of Eco-club activities at district level.  At state level, State Level Steering Committee (SLSC), constituted under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Government, Forest, Environment & Ecology Department will oversee the pace and progress of the NGC programme.

To oversee the progress of the scheme in PU Colleges another district level committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner.  Environment officer of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has been made Member Secretary of the Committee.  State Level Steering Committee on NGCs has been suitably amended to include the Director, Pre University Board & Member Secretary and Karnataka Bio-diversity Board for review the progress of NGCs in PU Colleges.

State Level Steering Committee for the implementation of the Schemes/Programmes by the NGC through the Eco-Clubs in the State with the following members:

  Department Status
1 Principal Secretary to Government  Forest, Ecology and Environment Department Chairperson
2 Principal Secretary to Government Planning Department Member
3 Secretary to Govt., (Ecology & Environment) Forest, Ecology and Environment Department Co-Chairperson
4 Secretary to Govt., Education Dept (Primary & Secondary Member
5 Secretary to Govt., Dept. of Women & Child Welfare. Member
6 Secretary to Govt., Youth Services & Sports Dept. Member
7 Secretary to Govt., Dept. of Health & Family Welfare Member
8 Chairman Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Member
9 Commissioner Dept. of Public Instructions Member
10 Scientific Officer Forest, Ecology and Environment Department. Member Secretary

District level Implementation and Monitoring Committee for eco-club  in each District comprising the following members:

  Department Status
1 Deputy Commissioner Chairperson
2 Chief Executive Officer Zilla Panchayat Member
3 Deputy Director, Education Dept., Member
4 District Youth Services and Sports Officer Member
5 District Information Officer Member
6 Asst. Director Women and Child Welfare Development Member
7 Deputy Conservator of Forest Member
8 Deputy Environment Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Member
9 Representative of State Nodal Agency Convener

 Last updated on: 12-11-2010                                                                |                                             Designed and developed by EMPRI