Prominent colleges in Bengaluru are encouraging their students to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle through various in-house projects.
When it comes to eco-friendly campuses, colleges in Bengaluru are leading by example. At a time when the planet is believed to be heading for an environmental apocalypse, little efforts go a long way in cultivating an eco-friendly lifestyle.
At Christ University, the Centre for Social Action (CSA) has an environment wing, involved in many activities like cleanup drives, tree plantation drives, save water campaigns, waste segregation campaigns among others. “The activities are carried out by volunteers from the student community. At the beginning of every semester, volunteers stand next to the dustbins to make sure that waste is segregated when disposed,” says Mahima Shenoy, a volunteer with the initiative. Perhaps the most outstanding of all these is the aptly named ‘Parivartana,’ a fully functional recycling unit on the college grounds. “Parivartana was started in 2008, for both an ecological and social impact; All the employees in the unit are women from CSA’s urban project areas. Recycled products from here are sold on campus by the students,” adds Mahima. However, when it comes to the students attitudes towards such activities, there is still need for improvement. “Students don’t make a conscious effort to segregate their waste, or stop wastage of water. Some students really take the effort, but a large population of them don’t,” says Mahima.
St. Joseph’s college is another campus that stands out for its beauty; here too, eco-friendly activities are passionately encouraged. “We recently had a garbage collection drive to pick up waste from a 1 km radius of our college. We also had the ‘Neerathon’ to encourage rainwater harvesting,” says Nivedita Vijaykumar, an alumnus of the institution. “I wish students would be more aware of these efforts, like what bins are for what waste. I think the college needs to properly communicate the importance of these things to the students, instead of just making attendance compulsory,” adds Nivedita. “I would like to see improved is to stop selling water in single use plastics and have more filling stations for students, “ she suggests.
The Rotaract Club plays a major part in the social impact activities at Jyoti Nivas College. “They do so much on their own, like organising marathons; they are affiliated to the larger Rotaract Club in Bengaluru,” says Amulya P.M., a student of Jyoti Nivas College. “The college also had a drive to collect medical waste, and students who collected a lot were rewarded”, she adds. “Students have a good response to such activities. I think the college should take some more effort to promote them than just announce it over the PA system, since students are always more than willing to help.” ‘Eco-Sunday’ is another practice among students here, who meet up every Sunday to clean an area. “Now is not the time for just awareness, but action. There could be more drives and campaigns organised, especially in colleges, where thousands of students can actually come together and make a dent if they want to,” adds Amulya. — Christina Tom