Some of the best green schools in the country...
PT Chacko Memorial High School, Kerala
A tiny rural school with a strength of less than 400 students and a handful of teachers has emerged as a team of natural resource managers of extraordinary skills. The school has excelled in almost all the segments, but that it has been able to imbibe the real spirit of ‘sustainable’ use is most sharply visible in its water audit. The members of this school harvest rainwater — not as a showpiece project, but as an actual source of supply. They have built bunds and small check dams, reviving techniques that were traditionally used to trap rain in this region. They recycle waste water, again using a simple, homegrown system, that filters gray water, later used for gardening. They also regularly monitor water quality, and spearhead a sanitation drive — to ensure adequate facilities for students not only in their school but in those the neighbourhood. PT Chacko is a model water manager, a dream come true for any agency that supervises watershed projects in rural India. Only, this team devises its own techniques, sets targets and guidelines for itself, and then doggedly goes ahead to achieve them.
St. Paul’s School, New Delhi
One of the thousands of schools that dot the capital’s landscape, St Paul does not belong to the club of elite schools. But it is has created a space for itself that is absolutely unique. How many schools in Delhi can actually claim that they formulated a policy to encourage students and teachers to abandon their cars and walk or cycle to school? And they have succeeded. Catering mainly to people living in the locality or close by has no doubt made the job easier for the school authorities. But the overwhelming scale of students opting for the more eco-friendly modes in the past year clearly indicates that the lessons learnt during the GSP audit were not lost on them. No wonder St Paul has reaped a very rich harvest in the third round of GTGSP awards.
Ahlcon International School
This school stands out because of its exceptional skill to set systems, ensuring that the changes made after GSP are not cosmetic or fleeting but are there to stay. For instance, after going through the land chapter last year, listing out plant species along with the students, the school decided that the data collected was too valuable to let go of, after the audit was over. So it put it all together and published an illustrated booklet on the biodiversity in the school premises, adding information on how to grow them at home. The beautifully illustrated Gardenia was then distributed among parents and in the neighbourhood.
Kerala Public School, Mango, Jamshedpur
A school in Jamshedpur that has already won awards in this platform. It keeps featuring prominently in our final list of winners because of its determination to improve its performance as an environment manager, year after year. Take this year as an example. Last year it had scored a disappointing 28 per cent as a rainwater harvester. It has come back in the third round with 100 per cent marks! In other words, the RWH system that was in a rudimentary state till last November, has not only be made fully functional but also upgraded to capture every drop of rain that falls on its grounds!
Achyuth Patwardhan School, KFI, Varanasi
This school is special because it believes in practicing what it preaches, not only within its compound but outside too. KFI has a Rural Centre attached to it which caters to village kids, living in the outskirts of Varanasi. This year, the school authorities asked some of the more enterprising students to take stock of the natural resources in their region, using the GSP methodology. The result was an eye opener. Next year, the school hopes to submit a report on behalf of the Rural Centre, taking the GSP one further step forward.