From making eco-friendly idols to collecting garbage, children do it all

The Hindustan Times , Monday, November 17, 2014
Correspondent : Rishma Kapur
For almost a decade Vinodini Lulla and her team, through the Children’s Movement of Civic Awareness (CMCA), a not-for-profit, has been going to schools across Mumbai with the aim of transforming young students into responsible citizens.

Lulla moved from Bangalore to Mumbai in 2004 to start CMCA’s Mumbai chapter. “Our main aim is to not only spread environmental awareness, but also to train young individuals to further educate people,” said Lulla.

Lulla’s team has a specified curriculum that emphasises the four Cs – Concern, Cooperate, Confront and Co-exist. It is through various projects, campaigns, discussions and games that the team tries to teach children the importance of environment.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding with different schools, CMCA is delegated a particular grade, usually class 8, who they meet once a week. At the Navy Children School, Colaba, students this year made posters and slogans for a cracker-free Diwali. They also had a Green Ganesha campaign, where students made environment friendly idols and then immersed them in a tub provided by CMCA volunteers.

“Every year the CMCA organises activities in our school that educate students and make them aware of environmental problems and also of possible solutions,” said Girija Singh, principal, Navy Children School.

The team also conducts group activities like beach clean-up and garbage collection. Students are asked to audit different services like electricity consumption, water leakage, use of dustbins and road maintenance in the school premises, following which a report is submitted to the school management, who then take corrective measures.

“We try to make children better citizens, so that they understand what is right and what is wrong,” said Sushma Shetty, a CMCA volunteer.


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