Towards a better future

Goethe Institute, in association with the University of Bremen, Germany and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore recently conducted the second edition of their International Environmental Youth Conference, ‘Greening with Goethe’, which has been awarded the UNESCO tag of ‘Project of the Decade’.

The students interacting with A P J Abdul Kalam.

In the three-day conference, the highlight was the speech by former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on the topic of ‘Sustainable Society and Technology’.  “It is essential to think of sustainable development in every aspect of human life. In today’s world, there is a lot of data to empower people; the question is — what approach is the best?” he questioned, following which he proposed his own solution for the development. 

He presented a diagram on the user-community pyramid, where resources like sea, land, rivers and mountains percolate to the end users based on the convergence of technologies like GPS, GIS, S-DMB, 3D modelling, sonars, sensors and geo-spatial technology using a societal business model.

He also spoke about the role of information collection and communication mediums like mobile, wireless, RSS and Internet.

“The model can be used to provide basic amenities like safe drinking water, disaster warning and management, land and forest for environmental promotion and
protection” explained Dr Kalam. “We need to rethink how technology can solve problems of both the rural and urban, without damaging the environment for the future,” he added.

There were 150 eager minds from across schools in India, Germany, Czech Republic and Sri Lanka who attended his talk and were certainly motivated to go make a change.  “Today’s session was good. He’s a really great man and is quite inspiring. What I learnt from the talk was that we should work hard and truly make what we have pledged today into a reality,” said Wamika Gera, a ninth grader from Delhi Public School (East).

“For the conference, we did a project on organic farming, where we tried to promote natural foods which are devoid of chemical fertilizers and the use of mulching, vermicomposting and other organic agricultural processes,” she added.For others, it was a great speech because when the former President of your country, who doubles up as one of the best scientific minds has something to say, his words tend to be important.

“What he said did make a lot of sense, while also being practical and easy to understand,” said Sarang Gupta, a student of Lotus Valley International School, Noida.
 “The pyramid model was a good idea, but I’m not percent convinced. I’ll read up more about it soon,” he concluded.

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