We look forward to celebrating International Earth Day on April 22nd! Every year students in YGB scholarship program (Scholarship for Higher Education), run by NGO partner NISHTHS in rural villages of West Bengal, make special plans to celebrate this day with pomp and excitement; and why not!
These girls know that they and the earth are interconnected. In the last two years, they have seen their communities devastated by the ongoing pandemic and two disastrous cyclones Amphan and Yaas. People in India have lost their dwellings and their livelihoods. As a result, most of the male members of the community were forced to migrate from their native land and go to other states and cities in search of jobs.
At this time the movement of the girls was restricted. They depended upon local resources which included agriculture, fish farming and cattle rearing and if the environment becomes polluted, they will face even more dire drawbacks.
So, for them Earth Day has its own distinct significance, and they celebrate it enthusiastically.
For Earth Day the youth federation has come up with some exciting plans for each of the different Village Panchayats (Cluster of 8 to 10 villages).
Last year they organized numerous events that included rallies, educational sessions on saving and restoring our earth, and on non-usage of pesticides and chemical fertilizers as it barrens the soil life and impacts human health.
The girls displayed environmental colors, wearing green, brown, and blue clothes and explained the importance of bio-farming through attractive placards and billboards making people aware of how such farming can be made cost-effective and useful.
They also conducted meetings where the women farmers (belonging to Nishtha women’s groups), distributed self-made organic or mineral manure.
They motivated people to reduce the use of plastic bags to avert soil and water pollution. Taught children about the recycling and reusing of the old materials. And more importantly they taught people that every day of their life is earth day! So, let’s care for our earth on a daily basis.