As a step towards environmental pro-activism, Lamjingshai School, Umtyngngar, celebrated the World Environment Day in a small but significant way on June 5th. The NESFAS team along with Social Work student volunteers from St Edmund’s College, Shillong joined in on the festivities.
The morning began, like any regular school day, with an assembly and morning prayers. This was followed by a moving speech by the headman of Umtyngngar, Mr. Reverius Kharbuli who was also present at the event. A recital of songs and poems revolving around “Mother Earth” composed by the school children themselves afterwards gave the gathering a delightful turn.
Perhaps, the activity that was most significant that day was the sapling plantation session which saw participation from the students of the school, the faculty and the guests. The entire group marched to the “Scared Grove”, inaugurated recently in 2005, with tree saplings and placards declaring anti-degradation messages. At the grove, the children planted the saplings, thereby, adding further credence to the already dignified connotation of the “Sacred Grove”. The children planted 150 diverse saplings that day.
“The paradox of the entire event,” Janak Singh, NESFAS team member said, “is that while the children are attempting to save the environment in the best way they can, just nearby there are elders hacking down trees for timber and cutting down mountains to mine sand.” “It is indeed ironic.” he concluded.
Never the less, as John F. Kennedy once said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” We can, thus, hope for a secured future when the children are brought to understand that the environment needs to be protected through events such as the World Environment Day celebration at Lamjingshai School, Umtyngngar.