Rural schools bag CSE award for being the 'greenest'

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) Rural schools in remote corners of the country outdid elite urban institutes to be adjudged the ''greenest'' by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

A government school in the small hamlet of Boormajra in Punjab's Ropar district and a rural school in the hilly terrains of south Sikkim were announced as the top two contenders for the 2007 Green Schools Awards here today by the CSE.

Two schools from Delhi and Noida bagged the third and fourth positions. Thw awards were given away by NCERT Director Krishna Kumar.

The CSE, which instituted the award since last year under its Green Schools Programme, said the initiative had shown that environmental awareness levels in the participating schools had increased sharply.

The data of the Government School at Boormajra, which is a winner for the second time round, reflected the effort that the school community -- with limited resources -- had made in managing its water. It had reused almost 50 per cent of the spillage from taps to irrigate the school grounds. The school has now set up a rainwater harvesting system with the help of funds from the state government.

The environmental audit team of Government Secondary School at Daramdin in Sikkim which got the second position has worked with the most basic facilities at its disposal. Every time a package carrying documents had to be dispatched to Delhi, the teacher concerned had to travel 25 km up the hilly terrain to reach the only post office which offers Speed Post facility.

From 1,200 schools in 2006, the Programme has now covered 3,500 schools in the country. ''The rural-urban ratio has tripled. Of the 20 schools shortlisted in 2006, only three were rural or semi-urban; in 2007, this number has climbed to 9. Also, more than 50 per cent schools from 2006 have repeated the audit,'' Ms Sumita Dasgupta, coordinator of CSE's Green Schools Programme said.

UNI

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