RDF is committed to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in its schools. A common phrase found around RDF schools is: “Do not waste a drop of water, a grain of rice, a watt of power or a piece of paper”
The schools also recycle. Innovative teachers routinely demonstrate how other people’s trash can be transformed into school treasures: Rice grains illustrate the diversity of crops, leaves become artistic canvases and marbles demonstrate Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. Teachers constantly make use of their environment for eco-friendly teaching aids. The schools ensure they preserve the environment in every activity they undertake. Vinayaka Chathurthi (Lord Ganesha’s festival) is celebrated annually in the RDF schools and every year idols of Lord Ganesha are brought into homes for 10 days and then immersed in water bodies as a farewell. As a part of celebrations, the students and teachers personally craft the Ganesha idol from clay, taken from the nearby ponds. This ensures that there is no pollution caused during immersion and also ensures the use of natural materials. No plastic or electric lights are used; in fact the idol is adorned with natural materials consisting of dried leaves. There are special prayers held for this occasion and even parents come to attend this spiritual occasion.
A clean India is possible only with the participation of one and all. RDF has emphasized cleanliness from the day of inception. When we put the first dustbins in Kalleda Village, other villages followed our example and even today, continue the practice. RDF-Vanitha Achutha Pai Vidyalaya Junior College’s teaching staff, non-teaching staff and management and nearly 200 students participate regularly in cleaning drives. They clean the surroundings of the college including the playground, class rooms, hostel rooms, toilets and open place in front of the college. We are very happy to have pioneered all these environmentally friendly initiatives.
Saving Nature’s Creatures
The RDF VAPV Junior College prides itself on the environmental awareness it strives to create in its students, in order to help students develop in a multidimensional way. The college community has been doing a lot of work to conserve local flora, fauna and birds by planting trees in campus which has increased the green cover and biodiversity, including putting up bird feeders.
In order to deepen awareness, they have formed a club called ‘Birds Club’ which includes 5 boys, 5 girls and a lecturer. The students collect photos, including taking photos themselves and want to create a local Birds Gallery. Through this, they are learning about bird species that are on the endangered list such as the vulture which is ecologically important. The group conducted a painting and drawing competition on the theme of birds to generate further interest in their work. There was a tremendous response from everyone. This competition helped many more students realise the need to protect birds. They have now taken on the responsibility to help promote ways to protect local species among the local community too. We hope their concerted and conscientious effort pays off.
Schools have put out water bowls for birds and small animals and also arranging artificial birds’ nests, made from natural fiber, in order to save birds from the hot sun.
They have made water bowls from recycled jerry cans and hung them in the branches of mango trees in the school grounds. The kitchen staff, students and staff always check the water bowls, replenishing them with clean water. Now they are delighted to see various birds flocking to the bowls to quench their thirst!