Engaging Children Today:For A Green Tomorrow

Engaging Children Today

A MahÄshishya Foundation & CGES initiative

In the end, we will only conserve what we love.
We will only love what we understand.
We will only understand what we are taught.
Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist

The data on water scarcity continues to warn us that shortage is increasing due to natural as well as human-made causes. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in regions that face "absolute water scarcity," reports the United Nations. Stemming the losses and re-diverting the flow to stressed regions will need a big investment: almost $1.8 trillion over the next 20 years, according to the U.N. University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. The good news is that corporate investments in innovative technologies and processes for reducing the drain on aquifers, detecting leaky infrastructure, reusing wastewater and addressing the troublesome water-energy nexus are on the rise.

A belief that is as deeply set in our minds as the existence of Sun and Moon is that Water assures cleanliness. To most adults any suggestion of saving water at the cost of cleanliness is bound to be rejected or even reacted to. On one hand it is important to accept that the notion of cleanliness imbues our society and influences our everyday life. On the other, wasting water is going to lead us to doom. For sustained change in the way we use water we would need changes in personal habits and mindset. We decided that this would be comparatively easier if we begin with young children. Hence we have drafted a curriculum comprising of within class and out of class activities called My Water Bottle for school children from Class 3 to 6, Appreciating H2O for Class 7 to 9 and "The Waterless Earth" for Classes 10 to 12. We are now seeking an organization to join hands in making this curriculum popular.

We also studied how ideas of cleanliness and use of water co-evolve. We discovered that there are water intelligent people, societies and cultures and not-so-water-intelligent people, societies and cultures. We need to work at change in water intelligence and transformation in our ways of using water. There are thousands of agencies and organizations working on re-circulation and harvesting of water. We, at Lead?ynn, thought about it differently. We decided to focus on rewiring the minds of people about cleanliness and use of water.

The Water Curriculum for Schools

Serial Number Event Title Event Brief Target Audience
#1 My Water Bottle The purpose of this module is to make young students explore the need and value of Water in an easy, interactive and fun learning way. It includes in-class activities like drawing and painting and video shows. Teachers shall get resource material for enriching their own subject classes. Students of Class 3-6 and Junior School Teachers
#2 Appreciating H2O Water appears to be the simplest thing on our planet. It is so difficult to describe water. Pure water is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Yet it is vital for all life on Earth. It is so necessary that where there is water there is life. Wherever water is scarce life is so difficult. So what is it about water that makes it so important to us? And what is it about water that makes it water? This module explores the physical and chemical properties of water and why water is so critical to living things. The module includes visits to higher learning Institutes and research organizations. Teachers participate in exchange programs and inter college activities. Students of Class 7-9 and middle school Teachers
#3 The Waterless Earth Water is so essential to sustaining life, that it is proven that humans are capable of surviving longer without food than they are without water. Each year, the planet receives about 88-90 billion acre-feet* of water from precipitation, but only 10 percent pours into areas in which it can be used. The remaining 90 percent pours down in inaccessible mountains and swamps and flows to the sea. So much is lost before it can be captured and used. Water is continually being recycled in the form of water vapor, liquid water and ice. Because the Earth is primarily a ?closed system,? like a terrarium, it neither gains nor loses much water. In other words, the same water that existed on Earth millions of years ago is still here. Water is called the ?universal solvent? because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. This means that wherever water goes, either through the ground or through our bodies, it takes along valuable chemicals, minerals and nutrients. What can we do to conserve, recycle and sustain Water? What would our earth be if water is scarcely available. The module includes seminars delivered by experts, live projects, competitions, debates and street plays performed by students. Teachers get resource material for facilitating activities. Students of Class 10-12 and senior school Teachers

The program is led by Dr. Alka Jain, Director of MahÄshishya Foundation and is coordinated by Ms. Sugandh Arya, a Business Management scholar at Lucknow. In alliance with CGES we intend to reach out to schools and colleges in Uttar Pradesh. There shall be in class activities, video shows, art and craft, debate competitions, visit to farm and street plays on CGES themes. A certificate jointly signed by MahÄshishya, CGES and the host School principal shall be issued. All certificates shall carry an Index Number and listed on CGES website. Fundamentally, at Lead?ynn, we are trying to intersect workable ideas of today and those of a green tomorrow. We look forward to your support.