Sanskriti The Gurukul -- One School's Sustainability Journey

As an educational organization, we share the responsibility of building our nation, as the creators of future citizens. Taking this thought forward, Sanskriti The Gurukul decided to own their responsibility and do their part in conserving the environment by taking the following small steps:

“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.” We have a strong belief in this saying. Our school, Sanskriti The Gurukul, stands tall amidst the lush green hills, in the outskirts of Guwahati. We are part of the North-Eastern region of India, which is a biodiversity hotspot and represents one of the highest avian biodiversity areas of the Indian subcontinent. We each feel a sense of pride and responsibility to protect this land. We strongly believe in the saying by Professor Wangari Maathai: “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand, that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”

As an educational organization, we share the responsibility of building the future of our nation, as the creators of future citizens. It is important for us to respect what nature has given us and also educate our students about our environment by developing a sense of belonging to our surroundings. We must generate awareness and develop a sustainable mechanism for the judicious use of the abundant natural resources of this unique ecosystem. We need to develop an empathetic new generation who realizes that economic priorities should not completely erode the importance of conserving large parts of this pristine habitat. Taking this thought forward, Sanskriti The Gurukul decided to own their responsibility and do their part in conserving the environment by taking the following small steps:

1. Maintain a green cover within the campus area 
The total area of the school campus accounts for approximately 1,60,000 sq. ft. (800 X 200 ft.) of which, 20,000 sq. ft. is the total plant coverage with large varieties of trees. These include 250 coconut trees and 200 betelnut trees with mango, olive, guava, litchi, papaya, palm, coconut, Gulmohar etc. growing on the campus. The campus contains plants belonging to all divisions of Plant Kingdom and provides great opportunities for students to learn about plant classification and admire the vast biodiversity supported by the region.

2. Integrate greening into the curriculum: Establishing the Department of Environmental Science
The year 2016 started with a great positive initiative by the school management. They decided to offer Environmental Science as one of the mainstream subjects of study in center 9. We started the new department with a mere 7 students opting for Environmental Science and presently, we have 19 students enrolled in Environmental Science from Grade 9 to 12.

Environmental science students creating T-shirts for a Conservation Biodiversity Awareness Programme 

3. Waste Management
The waste management techniques followed by the school are completely based on the 4R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse. As a day boarding school, the meals and the snacks are provided to all the students on campus. They are not allowed to bring any snacks/sweets/chips/chocolates to school. This not only helps maintain a properly balanced diet but also aids in the waste reduction from wrappers.

Students creating planters from plastic bottles

4. Reduce Paper Waste
The School App has a feature that allows homework and circulars to be uploaded electronically or digitally. This helps reduce the amount of paper we print and distribute on a large scale.

5. Make Students Realize They Can Be Part of the Solution
Inform, Involve, and Celebrate! This is the best way to generate interest and motivate students to participate. World Environment Day is celebrated every year at our school and all children in the school are involved. 

Students participating in World Environment Day

6. Organize Workshops
Empowering students by providing them with knowledge on and exposure to environmental issues by organizing workshops with environmentalists and conducting field trips has helped us generate awareness about environmental conservation not only among the student body and parent fraternity but also in the local community.

Workshop on “Conservation and Wildlife Photography” by Mr. Udayan Borthakur
Head of Genetics Division and Wildlife Photographer at AARANYAK.

Paper Quilling Workshop teaches students how to make endangered animals using quilling

Interactive Session with Mrs. Purnima Devi Burman, recipient of the Green Oscar Award 2017; for her contribution to the field of Conservation of Greater Adjutant

7. Take on Environmental Projects

Great Backyard Bird Count 

Students explored the forests and learn about various species with technology.

Study of Biodiversity of Umsiang, Meghalaya

Batwatch is a Bat Conservation Survey and Awareness Program in association with WildRoots (A Society for Environment Education, Bio-diversity Awareness & Conservation) at Paani Tanki, Paanbazar, Guwahati, Assam, India. Students observed fruit bats at their roosting site and took to the streets distributing paper bats with snippets of information to the community to generate awareness.


BATWATCH June 2017

During this campaign, students conducted awareness programmes about ‘DENGUE’, at individual levels in their neighborhood and raised funds to provide mosquito protection kits to underprivileged children. Students were also involved in the Clean India Mission that gave them an opportunity to shoulder their responsibilities to society. The students stepped off school property as Waste Warriors with their brooms and gloves. They not only cleaned the area but also collected non-biodegradable waste on the roadside. They even carried out a plantation drive in an area near the school.

NDTV Behtar India Campaign

Garden and Pollinators Development
Students prepared compost and mulch and participated in the GREEN CHALLENGE  an Initiative of GBCI (Green Business Certification Institute). This is based on issues related to energy, environment, and sustainability. Students presented models and powerpoint presentations about energy conservation and sustainability. 

Compost and mulch

Our efforts have garnered us the following awards:

1.'RANK #2 GREEN SCHOOL' at National Level by Education World, an education portal in India
2.Outstanding School for Conservation of Greener Environment and Upholding Swach Bharat Principles by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India
3. #2 in NDTV Behtar India Campaign – Regional Level
Posted by Ruchi Rai on Apr 3, 2018 10:23 AM America/Chicago


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