Save Our Planet is a movement initiated by Nepal Jesuit Social Institute where young enthusiast from different schools are encouraged to take action to maintain healthy environment. A group of executive board members which is commonly known as Eco-club, are formed in each schools and then they conduct eco-friendly program such as Cleanliness campaign, Plantation of trees, Recycling/reuse, Fund raising, Media, and Documentation respectively. To guide them with more ideas on cultural values and activities related to conservation of environment outside the country, NJSI planned for an exposure program to Tarumitra.
Tarumitra which means Friends of Trees is a nationwide student organization in Patna, India. It has been promoting ecological sensitivity and campaigning about various ecological issues since 1988. It was started as a movement to protect and promote a healthy environment and now it has spread to over 1000 schools and colleges having more than 2,00,000 members. Tarumitra has also set up a bio-reserve in Patna where it has a rare collection of over 400 vanishing trees and plants.
On 31st March, 2019 altogether 25 students and 7 teachers from 7 different schools gathered in NJSI premises to start their journey for International Exposure Program. After their arrival, a short introduction to Tarumitra and the concept of this exposure program was discussed. At around 6 in the evening, everyone jumped in the bus all with excitement and departed for Patna. After a long tiring journey, they reached Tarumitra Ashram at 4 pm on 1st of April. Tarumitra graciously welcomed every member of SOP (Save Our Planet) team. They were then oriented about Tarumitra movement and its success till now which was followed by Ashram tour. The next day started with harvesting chickpeas early in the morning. Later everyone had a campus tour which was then followed by session on Big Bang Theory, Organic farming and making seed bombs. Cultural program and Eco-meal marked the end of the day. Next day was for harvesting green leaves. Later they had an interaction session with nearby school, Don Bosco Academy where they shared about their problems and exchanged ideas on solving them. After interaction, it was the time to practically know about Big Bang Theory in a Cosmic Walk session in which they got to know details about the history of earth. Students were awarded with certificates for participation. On the last day, on 4th April they were taken for a city tour where they had a boat ride in the Ganga River and got to know about its history. After that they had a visit to Carmen High School and also Women’s College. The day was then followed by visit to Planetarium and International Museum. They were also taken to Patna’s market and for a short Zumba session which they really enjoyed. After a long day, the team was taken to Queen of Apostles’ Church and a graveyard which was beside the church. At last they had an interaction session where everyone spoke about their experiences and promised that they will take initiative for the environment conversation. They left for Nepal at 11 pm from Tarumitra.
The participants are really thankful to NJSI and Tarumitra for the golden opportunity. The experience for them has been different and has made them aware about the practices in the setting of India. They are grateful as the event has made them more responsible and self- confident. Every individual in the event has grown in one way or the other. They have promised to take steps and spread the knowledge on environment.