The daily lives of the residents of Vikarabad district of Telangana are full of surprises. The land that was drought-prone, over-farmed and nearly barren due to fertiliser and pesticide overuse is now slowly recovering through organic farming. Lively discussions about low-cost, replicable ways to save the environment are overheard at child forums formed at schools, communities and environment protection committees (EPCs) in the communities.
Households tend to kitchen gardens which they passionately advocate for environmental and livelihoods support while others are learning to make seed balls that can fill barren lands with lush greenery again. This is the effect of Plan India’s “Child Friendly Schools in Environmentally Sensitive Communities” project. Run in 40 schools and neighbourhoods with support from Oracle India, the project is a part of Plan India’s effort to prepare communities for climate change. The goal is to create model schools and enable children to become environmentally sensitive while realising their rights to quality education and holistic development.
The first-of-its-kind project in the state, it is in alignment with the government’s ‘Haritha Haram’ programme to raise awareness and greenery in the villages. It interfaces with panchayat, mandal and district level government agencies to strengthen community structures so that they can lead the initiative themselves. The project also raises awareness through behaviour change communication among children, parents, teachers, community members so that they can negotiate with their panchayat and government for secure futures.
- 1,215 children (607 girls and 608 boys) from 80 child forums in 40 schools and communities trained
- 40 EPCs with 723 members (460 men and 169 women, 48 boys and 46 girls) strengthened through support and training
- 550 families across 40 communities supported for the development of kitchen gardens