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Students participate in CNN Call to Earth initiative to drive environmental change

The participants from an International Baccalaureate school conducted a comparative study between Yamuna Biodiversity Park and their school premises



Apeejay School International (ASI) in Panchsheel Park, Delhi, recently participated in the CNN Call to Earth initiative, a global campaign aimed at driving positive change across society. The students of ASI embarked on a year-long project to observe and analyse the Yamuna River and its surroundings, shedding light on the impact of activities near the river.

During the Chhath Puja celebrations in October 2022, the students captured striking images from the Kalandi Kunj bridge, showcasing the consequences of religious practices on the river. The photographs showed a bustling crowd heading towards the river, unaware of the harmful effects of their actions. Hazardous materials and plastic waste were discarded, adding to the pollution woes of the Yamuna.

The students of ASI conducted a comparative study between the scenic Yamuna Biodiversity Park, a pilot initiative for the development of biodiversity parks in Delhi, and their school premises. They independently formulated research questions, conducted experiments in their school laboratories, and presented their findings to the school community. The students concluded that the Yamuna Biodiversity Park has successfully restored the ecological system and improved the water and soil quality in the region. To inspire others, the students also made a short documentary on the river and their findings.

Ananya Gupta, Diploma Programme (DP) 1 student, expressed, “Observing the state of the river over the past year visualised the dystopia that climate scientists have been warning us about for years. This opportunity helped me channel my eco-anxiety into something more productive and creative.”

Nia Lobo, Middle Year Programme (MYP) 5 student, shared her satisfaction, saying, “Taking initiative for a change that I wholeheartedly agree with, and support was an enlightening and enjoyable experience. It was an educational process, understanding the causes and impacts of the effects we have on the Yamuna. I’m glad I took small steps towards change.”

Recognising the significance of landlocked areas in maintaining the health of waterways and oceans, CNN joined forces with ASI students as part of the “Call to Earth” initiative. The programme, conducted in partnership with Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative, emphasises the role of the younger generation as guardians of marine environments.

CNN actively promotes educational initiatives, climate change awareness, scientific advancements, and global environmental issues. The collaboration with ASI helped shed light on the polluted state of the river and its surroundings, amplifying the message through CNN’s extensive news coverage.

Sabreen Kaur, MYP 4 student, acknowledged CNN’s role and stated, “CNN challenges rumors and presents facts regularly to its audience. They cover a wide range of topics, including educational initiatives, climate change, science and technology, global warming, and other news related to our planet. CNN’s news coverage helped us highlight the issue of pollution in the Yamuna River.”

Tejas Kapil, DP 2 student, said, “Working for CNN and learning about the greater issues surrounding our water bodies has been very insightful. I feel more aware and knowledgeable about approaching the problems that we have yet to figure out.”

The collaboration between ASI and CNN Call to Earth showcases the power of collective action in addressing environmental challenges. Through their efforts, these young students are actively contributing to creating a better and sustainable future for our planet.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.