Walk into the Mount Carmel College campus at any time of the day and you won’t find a single piece of paper lying around. No plastic cups, bottles, napkins, paper plates... no scrap of paper is thrown on campus. The students consciously throw them into separate bins, segregated into paper and plastic. The students and management of the college have been working toward reaching a zero waste management wherein “no waste goes to waste.”
Thanks to the untiring efforts of the three-year old Science Association of the College and their trust on the importance to the environment, the students have become conscious about keeping their surroundings clean. “Our aim is to create awareness among the students and staff about the hazards of misusing the natural resources. Therefore, since Science as a subject is taught in class, we give weightage to those things that are known to students of all disciplines but are taken for granted,” explains Divya R T, lecturer, Chemistry and vice president of the Association.
Among the initiatives taken up by the Association, on campus are water harvesting, vermicomposting (use of earthworms and cowdung slurry to produce rich manure), use of alternate energy sources like solar lamps, and solid waste management in general. Solid Waste Management is an initiative of the Association along with Centre for Extended Education and the NSS. The lectures related to various burning issues like genetically modified food, cancer, politics in environmental issues are organised on a regular basis, “we also encourage erecting stalls that sell recycled stuff like bags, books, and other items which sometimes are put up in association with NGOs and in some other cases, by students themselves,” says Divya.
There’s self-imposed discipline among the students on and off campus. They have become more aware of the benefits of such programmes and go an extra mile to educate others about the same. “Such practices consciously or subconsciously impact the students to a great extent. Firstly, it seems to be a rule that one needs to follow at an educational institution like many other rules. It slowly transforms into a habit inculcated by them and the awareness is brought about in due course,” says Divya.
Divya observes that the objective of the association is to get the students to understand that protecting and nurturing the environment is not an obligation but a responsibility.The Association is supported and encouraged by Principal Sr Albina, Dr Mythili Jagannath (part of selection grade level) Sheela Dange (coordinator, CEE), Kalavathi (Department of Sociology and vice president of NSS).