So you had a regular day at school. You found out things you had no idea of, or had suspected all along. But the best part was getting away from class during recess and playing with Ned and Ted – the pet rabbits that wait for you behind the foliage skirting the school grounds. But there’s something that could spell trouble for Ned and Ted. What could possibly do that, you ask, when the gardener and other caretakers feed your friends and keep tabs on their health?
Let us take a look below:
The graph, above, shows that 82 per cent of GSP schools had excellent practices related to the use of pesticides. But nine per cent of the schools reported using banned pesticides like Calcium Cyanide, Nitrofen and Aldrin. So how does that endanger Ned and Ted, you might wonder.
Releasing poisonous toxins into the soil, THAT is how. From there it is a fairly straight route from plants and trees, which imbibe these toxins along with nutrients from the soil, to the internal organs of the harmless insects and animals that the school grounds nurture.
And just in case you are wondering about the extent of environmental damage that a little spray of regular pesticide here and there can cause, consider this: the soil in Punjab is still reeling from the effect of the pesticides used to promote high yielding varieties of wheat during the Green Revolution – starting in the 1960s! It got grand amounts of wheat, but the clock cannot be turned back for the soil which is perpetually starved of irrigation and running low on natural nutrients.
So, you can imagine why Ned and Ted are worried. Now the ball is in your court. What can YOU do to ensure that your school keeps pests in control without having to resort to dangerous pesticides?
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As you know, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is an independent public interest research organisation that aims to promote an informed public opinion in favour of environmental sustainability and sustainable development.