National Green Core (NGC) popularly known as ‘a programme of Eco-clubs’ is also a nationwide initiative of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change. This programme was started in the year 2001-02, and today has a network of more than 1,20,000 schools that aims at building core groups of young students working towards environmental conservation for more secure and sustainable world. In Madhya Pradesh this programme is implemented by Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO), as State Nodal Agency having 12500 schools at 50 districts. 250 schools in each district in the state which includes all the Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and all other schools under CBSE and ICSE and State Boards have formed eco-club of 50-60 students.
Main Objectives of NGC
- To impart knowledge to school children, through hands-on experience, about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein.
- To develop requisite skills of observation, experimentation, survey, recording, analysis and reasoning for conserving the environment through various activities.
- To inculcate the proper attitude towards the environment and its conservation through community interactions.
- To sensitize children to issues related to environment and development through field visits and demonstrations.
- To promote logical and independent thinking among children so that they are able to make the right choices in a spirit of scientific inquiry.
- To motivate and stimulate young minds by involving them in action projects related to environmental conservation.
Methodology Adopted by Eco-Clubs
The scheme is being operated through Eco-clubs of 50-60 students having interest in environment related issues, formed in member schools. Eco clubs are supervised by a Teacher In-charge, who is selected from among the teachers of the member school on the basis of his/her interest in environment related issues. There is District Implementation and Monitoring Committee to supervise, organise training for In-charge teachers, and monitor periodically the implementation of scheme at the District level. There is a State Steering Committee for guidance, direction and to oversee the implementation of the scheme. The State Nodal Agency coordinates the implementation of the scheme in the State and organize related activities like training to Master Trainers. The National Steering Committee will give overall direction to the programme and ensure linkages at all levels.
Activities for NGC (Eco-Clubs)
- Organize seminars, debates, lectures and popular talks on environmental issues in the school.
- Field visits to environmentally important sites including polluted and degraded sites, wildlife parks etc.
- Organize rallies, marches, human chains, and street theatre at public places with a view to spread environmental awareness.
- Action based activities like tree plantation, cleanliness drives both within and outside the school campus.
- Grow kitchen gardens, maintain vermi-composting pits, construct water-harvesting structures in school, practice paper re-cycling etc.
- Prepare inventories of polluting sources and forward it to enforcement agencies.
- Organize awareness programmes against defecation in public places, pasting posters in public places and to propagate personal hygiene habits like washing hands before meals etc.
- Maintenance of public places like parks, gardens both within and outside the school campus.
- Mobilize action against environmentally unsound practices like garbage disposal in unauthorized places, unsafe disposal of hospital waste etc.