Aga Khan Education Service, India pioneers for a greener paradigm
In a resounding call for environmental consciousness, two schools a part of the Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), India – the Diamond Jubilee High School (DJHS), Mumbai and the Diamond Jubilee High School for Girls (DJHSG), Mumbai – collaborated to host an enlightening event, entitled "Climate Change Awareness and Corrective Action", on 21 August 2023. This initiative saw a harmonious convergence of physical and virtual participants from AKES, India students and those from nearby schools and colleges, united by a shared concern for the planet's future.
The event began with DJHSG, Mumbai’s talented girls’ band welcoming Professor Chetan Singh Solanki from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Known as the “Solar Man of India” and “Solar Gandhi”, the professor is a brand ambassador of solar energy for the Government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and has embarked on an 11-year “energy swaraj yatra”, living in a solar bus as he travels the nation.
Professor Solanki hosted an interactive segment involving a six-point discourse into the critical concerns of climate change. His insights resonated deeply as he shared his wisdom on the steps to be taken to make a difference. He provided a distinct understanding of global warming and outlined ways in which everyone can play a role in decreasing local carbon emissions, specifically within households.
“It was an excellent talk,” said Dr R Kranti from the Aga Khan Health Board, a participant of the programme. “The best thing I liked is that Professor Solanki gave a lot of options which are doable at an individual level.”
Later, DJHS, Mumbai students took the stage by storm with a dramatic street play, captivating the audience and driving home the urgency of collective action against climate change. A student from MSB Educational Institute mentioned that she had an interesting time and was happy to take part in the event. She also said she plans to use less electricity to help save energy.
As the event ended, students and staff stood united in a pledge to reduce energy and material consumption, agreeing to diminish their carbon footprint and strive for a carbon-neutral existence. The students displayed great enthusiasm and expressed their commitment to make the change.
Atif Ansari, a Grade 9 student from DJHS, Mumbai, vowed to have a conversation with his parents about adopting solar panels to conserve electricity. Similarly, Akshata Shrimal, another Grade 9 student from DJHS, Mumbai, decided to minimise her usage of air conditioners.
The programme concluded with the poignant notes of the national anthem that echoed through the hall, skilfully rendered by DJHSG, Mumbai’s girls’ band, leaving an indelible mark of unity and determination. Ms Chandrakala Mishra, principal of the DJHSG, Mumbai school, extended a heartfelt thanks to all participants, underscoring the significance of such collaborative endeavours in fostering a sustainable future. After the programme ended, the students were privileged to witness the solar bus in action, driven solely by the sun's energy!
Photos (top to bottom):
- DJHS, Mumbai students performing onstage.
- The principals thanking Professor Solanki.
- DJHSG, Mumbai student band welcoming Professor Solanki.
- Students sitting in the audience.