Climate Conversation: Manipal Students Vow to Live in Harmony with Nature


Richard D’Souza
Kemmannu News Network, 12-10-2019 18:08:34


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Manipal : It was the beginning of the ‘climate conversation’ when the students of Ecosophical Aesthetics of the Gandhian Centre for Philosophical Arts and Sciences (GCPAS), Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE) sat with Students of Geopolitics, Communication and Media, European Studies, Humanities, Engineering and Health Sciencesin front of the MAHE administrative building and discussed climate issues which bother them and possible solutions.

Initiating the conversation, Pawani Pandey, Anusha Bhat, Saumy Prateek Jha, Subramanya Kini, Niyathi, Tanishqa, Vijeth Krishna, Krishna Kumar Sharma talked about how climate change is affecting their lifestyles and how their lifestyles are adding up to cause climate change.

The topics discussed ranged from regional to national to international, showcasing the sensitivity of this generation towards creating a better tomorrow. Sweekruti, a student of media, pointed out that the present-day beach experience is not complete without having a look at the garbage that is lying around. She said that individuals needed to be made aware of how every small action can help.

Abhiram, a student of Humanities, recalled, while travelling in and around Andaman & Nicobar, he saw islands of garbage floating in the ocean. Pawani, a student of Ecosophy, pointed out that Delhi’s garbage dump in Gazipur had graduated to be renamed as Mount Gazipur; a mountain of rotting waste and hazardous chemicals.

Anusha Bhat talked about changing scenario and conversed on how there’s no time to be laidback and wait for the government or authorities to act or tackle these issues. These are day-to-day issues individuals face everywhere.

Niyati, a GCPAS student, shared with the group how we can make use of reusable utensils such as steel glass, cups, straws to avoid using plastic straws, cups, glasses when one wants to have any hot or cold beverage. She informed them of how she and other classmates had kept few cups and glasses in their class so that they do not need plastic cups, glasses, straws for use during breaks when they wish to sip on some coffee or juice or anything that takes their fancy.

Few students talked about the days when they were growing up and milk used to be delivered in glass bottles, or steel cans; biscuits used to be wrapped in ‘butter paper’ packets. They drew attention to the fact that in the past three decades in India people were conditioned to use more and more plastic thus replacing indigenous packaging made from leaves and other materials. Almost everyone uses one or the other food delivering app on a daily basis, even this has contributed to a surge in single use plastic in the environment. They vowed to slowly bring this habit down.

Students also discussed how our cities like Delhi, Bangalore are either choking or heating up. Subramanya Kini, drew attention to the fact that even after heavy rains, the Baje Dam that provides water to Manipal is only half full, and that is not enough to meet the water demands for this student town. Another student said that insufficient water supply is a concern across India as groundwater tables are dwindling.

In our bid for development we have degraded our resources gravely. It is high time we start acting and try to undo what was done. The students talked about how felling of trees affects ecosystems and leads to rivers and streams changing course. The group will meet each week and carry out activities such as planting saplings, clearing out waste from forest and high vegetation areas, installing dustbins at public places in and around Udupi, Manipal.

The students feel that Mahatma Gandhi had showed the way long back when he said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” They believe these initiatives being taken up by them will be an example as well as a call for others to join the cause.

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