Wednesday, June 16

Green revolution, from Sweden to Kolkata

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The seed was sown in August, 2018, around 6,750 kilometres away. Now, just around a year later, the green movement launched by 15-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg have spread branches across the globe, including the City of Joy. Inspired by the teenager’s movement, a third-year student of Presidency University has launched his own movement — to make the campus plastic-free, cleaner and greener. Aryan Agrahari, the student of economics, spent every night on the campus for around a month to spread his message.

And Agrahari is not alone. A similar movement has been initiated at Jadavpur University by Swarup Kumar Das, a student of mathematics. Both Agrahari and Das are trying to spread an environmental awareness among their batchmates and others. As part of their go green mission, they are urging that the two premier varsities ban the use of plastic on campuses. Agrahari started the initiative as “Fridays for Future” campaign.

The guidelines laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC) recommend that all educational campuses should have segregated garbage disposals. But the students hardly follow the regulation that has been in place since 2018. This prompted the two students to launch the initiatives to make their respective campuses plastic-free, cleaner and greener.

Agrahari (20), a boarder of Hindu Hostel, started the initiative as “Fridays for Future”, later he started spending every night on the campus for his green mission. However, Agrahari is now being kept out of the campus at night since Thursday. He has planned to continue his protest in front of the university main gate with a few other students.

“I have written all my demands on posters beside me. I have completely restricted plastic use myself. If I cannot set an example, others will never agree. Many feel that a plastic-free campus is inconvenient. I want to show them how convenient and environment-friendly it can be to junk plastic,” said Agrahari.

Agrahari, however, is not happy with these minor changes. He will distribute corn starch-made bags to people as an alternative to plastic bags. These bags will go through complete degradation in 180 days. “

“We are trying to make an active change on campus and have zero tolerance for plastic waste and usage. However, the execution cannot be total and complete. We have no control over the plastic items that students bring from outside the campus,” said a Presidency University official.

Das, a student of mathematics at JU has initiated a similar protest at his campus. He spends Thursday nights on the campus with some batchmates. The administration of JU, however, is not aware of Das’ environmental protest. “We have not heard any complaint regarding this. No regulations on plastic or rainwater harvesting are in place. If we receive a deputation, we will certainly look into it,” said the dean of students, Rajat Roy at JU. Das is keen to stay back on the campus on Fridays as well for the campaign.


Source: Times of India

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