A school in Pune is a model example of how to follow a greener lifestyle. Just as we say, – you learn what you live – here the young minds are learning how to live with nature. It’s not just teaching its students chapters on recycling, but setting an example. Its aim is to create an eco-foundation for its children- A fundamental lesson in recycling and conservation. With walls made of plastic bottles, cow dung plastering interiors, roofs of bamboos and straws and pipes for ventilators, the Aman Setu Primary School on the outskirts of Pune in Wagholi is a school literally made out of waste materials of all kinds. All classrooms have been built using the Earth Bag Technique – sacks filled with a mix of the earth and waste products have been sealed and stacked up like conventional bricks, tied with barbed wire and plastered over with a mix of natural waste. The roofs have been waterproofed with old hoardings. Madhavi Kapoor, founder of Aman Setu said “By creating a learning space like this, we are bringing children closer to nature. Not only is the structure kinder to the earth, aesthetically satisfying, cool and comfortable, it is also a dynamic learning space. It’s a hands-on experience for the children to know Mother Nature.”
Source: NDTV, July 4, 2012, Internet edition.
It was recently reported that College students in Pune are forced to pay for parking on campus to the Contractors who are running parking lots. This appears to be clear violations of UGC norms, which suggests that the College should provide parking as a facility to the student without any charge.
Even though the students are paying for parking on Campus, they are not being assured of the well being of their vehicles. Not every college contractor gives receipt and those that do give receipts, it is printed on the back of the receipt that “Vehicle is parked at owners risk and in case of theft or damage; the receipt issuer is not liable in any way.” So the students, even after paying for parking on campus, many a times find scratches on their bikes, broken indicator and some find petrol missing. But the students have no clue where to go for the redressal of their grievances.
The colleges where such parking contractors are reportedly in operation are Symbiosis Institute of Design, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Fergusson College, IDMR Deccan Education Society, SP College, Marathwada College. It is pertinent to mention that in many of the places, there is free parking zone for the faculty members.
A group of private school students here, are practicing and promoting the management of waste to create awareness about the environment. school came up with a unique idea of creating a terrace garden where plants are grown with the help of organic waste. it is an effort by each student to do their bit for decreasing pollution in the city. Students use their household garbage and sow seeds to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables and medicines. Also, wet garbage and dry waste like plastic, buckets and boxes are used in terrace farming. The technique to grow plants from organic waste is simple. After one has selected the plant, put some soil into the container. In a few minutes, put in some solid kitchen waste, along with dry leaves and dry flowers. The mixture needs to be watered for a day, after which the seeds can be sown. It takes about six months for fruits to grow.
Nowadays, farmers are also getting involved in composting wet waste, due to the spiralling price of organic manure.
In these times of sharp scrutiny on school systems and infrastructural support that institutions are offering its children, these pictures speak a thousand words. Based on a tip-off about a number of unlicenced school vans operating in the city, Mirror tracked down a couple on Friday at Symbiosis School, on Prabhat Road, as kids were filing out in the afternoon, after the school had given over.
While one of the vehicles had no registration number, the other bore a make believe plate with a fictitious number hastily scribbled in red. Each van carries at least 10-12 kids.
According to sources, the vehicles have been seen on the road for over six months — escaping scrutiny of both school and traffic police.
Law deems that carrying school children in unregistered vehicles is not only illegal but in case of a mishap, none of the occupants will be eligible for compensation. Apart from the two vans tracked down by Mirror, according to sources there are at least another six such vehicles that operate for schools in and around Deccan.
When we brought the issue to the notice of deputy regional transport officer Anil Valiv, he said, “There is a possibility that these are new vehicles and before getting registered with the RTO, they might have started plying school children. However, this is an illegal method. If the van meets with an accident, the children will not get any compensation.”
After a series of mishaps involving school buses, the state government came up with a resolution in 2011 specifying the school transport safety norms for vehicles carrying school children, for safe travel. The resolutions mandate school authorities to have a contract with transporters, with details of these vehicles maintained. Interestingly, on Friday afternoon after spending some time on campus, we observed that none of the security guards or any school authority made any effort to stop the vans.
When confronted with the issue, Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society, averred that while the institution is strict about the safety of children in school buses, with regular checks on documents and records of transporters, so far checking vehicle registration has not been included in the safety norms. “However, if there are vehicles plying without registration number, we will not only take action against the vehicle owners but we will also include the mandatory vehicle registration in our safety norms,” said Yeravdekar.
On learning about this practice, the school board has decided to send notices to schools that have let such wrongdoers escape the net. School board president Pradip Dhumal said, “I will send a notice to the concerned schools on Monday, asking them to take immediate action against the drivers and then fulfill the necessary requirements.”
These vans carry children on busy thoroughfares such as Law College Road, Karve Road and Paud Road and yet, curiously, they have not been sighted by traffic cops deputed in these areas. Deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Sarang Awad, put the onus on the respective schools and RTO, underlining their responsibilities towards the children who are using this transport system. “But if these transporters are going about their business without registration, I will ask my staff to take action against them,” said Awad.
Source: Punemirror, 28’March