29 July 2017
Every year Vanmahotsav – the Festival of Trees, is eagerly celebrated at St. Joseph’s Sr. Sec. School, Sector 44-D, Chandigarh, with a plethora of activities organized for the Josephian family. This year too, a special ceremony was held in order to carry forward the initiative of having a Clean India through the development of a Green India.
The Chief Guest for the event was Ms. Gitanjali Kanwar, Senior Project Officer, WWF India. The Vanmahotsav event commenced with the traditional Tilak ceremony, albeit with a twist. The tilak was not of the usual kumkum but a Herbal one just to keep in with the sentiments of the occasion. Then it was time for the plantation of saplings by the worthy Chief Guest, Principal Ms. Monica Chawla, Ms. Lily Sebestian and members of the School Management. Teachers along with the Josephians were also present to lend a helping hand and do their bit to ensure that their school premises always have a green and clean environment. The school choir entertained everyone with a specially prepared song on Plantation of trees as did the tiny tots of Kindergarten who won everybody’s heart with their Elocution skills as they recited thought provoking Poems on ‘Trees’. The students of Primary –II brought to light the hitherto unknown Unique Properties of some Plants.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the programme was the Environmental Skit, ‘Pedh Lagao- Prakriti Bachao’, presented by the students of the Middle Block which highlighted the significance of plants in our lives and how important it was that all of us are aware and ready to contribute towards protecting and nurturing our environment. Scripted by the young Josephians themselves, with a little
guidance from their teachers, the skit bespoke of the immense talent of the young class 8 students. The parting shot was the pledge taken by the actors who promised to plant a tree on every birthday.
Ms. Gitanjali Kanwar was also here to launch a special programme entitled ‘Let’s Discover Biodiversity at St. Joseph’s’. This programme is an initiative taken up by the Eco Club of the school for the year 2017, which will entail a study of all lifeforms such as birds, insects, plantlife etc. within the school premises. The project will be carried out by the members of the Eco Club, better known as the Green Saviours, throughout the session, with the support and guidance of Ms. Kanwar. She also took the opportunity to address a group of selected students on her work with WWF, as a Field Researcher and shared some insights regarding the development of innovative ways of raising environmental awareness among students through the ‘Water School Programme’. An extensive as well as entertaining Presentation had been prepared by Ms.Kanwar depicting Vanmahotsav and the various Wetlands she has been working on. She spoke at length about the Indus Water Dolphins a project pioneered by her and went on to discuss all forms of biodiversity in and around the wetlands of rivers Beas and Sutlej. She presented glimpses from the field sites with personal collection of pictures and photographs which had everyone in the audience mesmerized. The interactive session was quite fruitful as the exuberant students posed question after question to quench their thirst for knowledge. Principal, Ms. Monica Chawla extended her gratitude to the Chief Guest with a gracious vote of thanks for sparing her invaluable time and making the event such a memorable one. Chairman Mr. Rupinder Grewal also blessed the students and staff and inspired them to go to the green way of living and contribute towards environment with whole hearted determination to heal the damage.