background in brief
Initially, the organization took ventures to animate students of State Schools & Kendriya Vidyalayas (under the project EAS and ‘GREEN MISSION’). Society’s mission is to instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through animated students – who shall understand that development should be sustainable for the survival of nature – & play a critical role in making this world a better place to live in. In addition to that Aranyaj Society started an education cum vocational course and cultural training center at a slum of Kolkata to extend education, nutrition, health services, and healthy culture among the slum dwellers. In the year 2009 Society conducted a Mass Awareness Camp in Alipore Zoological Garden, Kolkata; where ~ 2000 students & ~ 200 teachers participated under the guidance of 10 Environmental campaigners. This sensitization camp helped ~ 20,00,000 zoo visitors to realize the objective of the zoo as well as what to do & whatnot. Our Hon’ble C.M. Smt. Mamata Banerjee appreciated the endeavor. In the same year, the society is taking the school students of Kendriya Vidyalaya for an Eco-Education program in the different forest areas of Bengal with the collaboration of the Dept. of Forest, Govt. of West Bengal. During this journey, we realized the crisis in the health sector among the forest villagers of Sundarban. Thus we took the initiative to start a Health Intervention and awareness program there.
We are grateful to Oil India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, and ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited) for giving us financial assistance for arranging Health camps in Sundarban. We arranged free health check-ups, medicine distribution, and eye check-ups with spectacle distribution followed by an awareness camp, roadshow & seminar in different schools/localities/islands among the students or forest villagers. As the cost of awareness is negligible compared to intervention, in viewing that each health intervention program was coupled with relevant seminars. We are running several low-cost sanitary napkin manufacturing units where some needy women are earning their bread. We are also distributing sanitary napkins free of cost among adolescent girls and women and continuing KAP (Knowledge-Attitude-Practice) &MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) programs so that underprivileged women can also lead dignified and hygienic periods which they deserve.
We are honored and overwhelmed as we received appreciation from our former Hon’ble Speaker of Parliament Smt. Sumitra Mahajanji, former Hon’ble Governor Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of State (IC). Petroleum and Natural GAS, Govt. of India, former Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Late Shri Anil Madhav Dave, & other dignitaries for significant contribution towards the initiative ‘SAVE OUR SUNDARBAN’
List of projects/initiatives of Aranyaj Society since 2008: a remarkable journey:
Forest Week Celebration: Pledging for a Greener Future :-
In a momentous celebration of our precious forests, our organization initiated the Forest Week in 2011, bringing together 20 schools from Kolkata and approximately 6,000 enthusiastic students. This week-long event aimed to raise awareness about the significance of afforestation and inspire a sense of responsibility towards our environment. The highlight of the program was the collective effort to plant around 5,000 saplings, symbolizing our commitment to nurturing nature.
The Forest Week commenced with great anticipation and excitement as students eagerly gathered to participate in this noble cause. The program was graced by the presence of the Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee, who inaugurated the event and lent her support to the initiative. With her inspiring presence, she not only encouraged the students but also emphasized the importance of forest conservation for a sustainable future.
The Forest Week was a remarkable platform for students to actively engage in environmental stewardship. Guided by their teachers and environmental experts, the students embarked on a journey of planting saplings in designated areas, rejuvenating the earth with the vibrant hues of green. The sight of young hands carefully nurturing the saplings symbolized their commitment to the well-being of our planet.
In a special moment of unity, Chief Minister Smt. Mamata Banerjee led a procession with around 2,000 students, spreading the message of awareness and action. The vibrant procession, accompanied by chants, dancing, singing and slogans advocating for forest conservation, resonated throughout the city, captivating the attention of passersby and instilling a sense of urgency in the hearts of onlookers.
During the Forest Week, students actively participated in various educational activities and workshops focused on raising their understanding of the importance of forests and the role they play in sustaining life on Earth. They learned about the intricate web of biodiversity, the crucial ecosystem services provided by forests, and the urgent need for conservation. Through interactive sessions and engaging discussions, the students were empowered with knowledge and a deeper appreciation for the natural world.
The Forest Week celebration not only fostered environmental awareness but also encouraged the students to become ambassadors for change in their communities. By taking the pledge for more afforestation, they embraced their responsibility to protect and preserve our forests. This collective commitment echoes the sentiment that every individual has a crucial role to play in building a greener, healthier planet.
The Forest Week celebration of 2011 will forever be etched in the memories of all those involved. It served as a catalyst for change, igniting a passion for environmental conservation and inspiring a generation of young environmentalists. The saplings that were lovingly planted during this week will grow into mighty trees, serving as a testament to the enduring impact of our collective efforts.
As we reflect on the success of the Forest Week, we are filled with hope and determination. Together, let us continue to nurture our forests, planting the seeds of a sustainable future for generations to come.
Empowering Needy Children: Breaking the Chains of Illiteracy:
Education is the beacon of hope that illuminates the path out of the relentless grip of poverty. We refuse to let circumstances define a child’s potential. That is why we tirelessly work to level the playing field, providing equal educational opportunities to children from marginalized communities. Regardless of their background as rag pickers, maids, laborers, sex workers, or orphans, we see the fire of ambition burning within them.
With unwavering determination, we empower these children with knowledge and skills, arming them with the tools to forge a brighter future. We believe that education is not merely a means to an end; it is a transformative force that can break the chains of poverty and open doors of opportunity previously unimaginable.
Our holistic approach to education encompasses the physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being of these children. We strive to create an environment where they can thrive, where their hunger is satisfied, and their health is safeguarded. By providing educational opportunities, nutritional support, and healthcare, we aim to break the chains that hold them back and empower them to realize their full potential.
Through our efforts, we strive to restore their dignity and instill within them a sense of self-worth. We see their potential, untapped and waiting to be unleashed. We envision a world where these children, once shackled by their circumstances, break free and soar to unimaginable heights.
Join us in this noble mission as we uplift these young souls from the depths of poverty. Your support and contributions are the building blocks of a brighter future for them. Together, let’s break down the barriers, wipe away their tears, and pave the way for a tomorrow filled with hope, promise, and endless possibilities.
An Emotional Awakening: Transforming Hearts at the Zoo:
In November 2008, a remarkable project took shape within the walls of the Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata. Over the course of four months, around 2,000 students and 200 teachers, guided by a passionate team of 10 Environmental campaigners, embarked on a mission to inspire change. Their goal was to ignite compassion and raise awareness among the nearly 2 million zoo visitors who entered its gates.
The Alipore Zoological Garden is a sanctuary for wildlife, a place where their lives are protected. However, it is essential to recognize the unspoken suffering that animals endure in captivity. Their pain is inexplicable, and their longing for freedom is palpable. With this understanding, the project was born, driven by the belief that zoos should serve as centers of education and conservation, rather than mere sources of human amusement.
The participation of students and teachers was pivotal in this transformative journey. Through interactive sessions, workshops, and profound discussions, a flame of compassion was ignited within their hearts. They began to grasp the importance of wildlife conservation and the interconnectedness of all living beings.
Two guiding principles defined the project: “Waste Not” and “Tease Not Animals.” The aim was to instill a sense of responsibility, urging visitors to tread lightly upon the Earth. “Waste Not” became a mantra, reminding visitors of the impact their actions have on the environment. Responsible waste management and proper disposal of litter were emphasized to ensure the well-being of the animals.
“Tease Not Animals” resonated deeply with all who participated. Visitors were invited to empathize with the creatures and recognize that they are not objects of amusement but beings deserving of understanding and respect.
The plight of animals in captivity was unveiled, highlighting their longing for freedom and the pain they experience. Together, a commitment was made to be their advocates, protectors, and voices in a world that often overlooks their suffering.
Additionally, “Feed Not Animals” became a crucial aspect of the project. Visitors were educated about the dangers of feeding zoo animals. Overeating and consuming the wrong types of food can lead to severe illnesses and even life-threatening conditions for the animals. It was emphasized that feeding should be left to the professionals who carefully manage the animals’ diets to ensure their health and well-being.
The impact of the project was profound, reaching far beyond the confines of the zoo. Knowledge was gained, empathy was awakened, and a commitment to change was formed. The seeds of compassion continue to grow as individuals embrace their role as stewards of the natural world.
Moving forward, the dedication to promoting responsible behavior at the zoo remains unwavering. Zoos are not mere sources of entertainment; their purpose extends to education and conservation. They are places where empathy thrives, and understanding blossoms. Every visit to the zoo becomes an opportunity for discovery, respect, and protection of the animal kingdom.
Let us stand as guardians of their well-being, ensuring that animals are treated with dignity and cherished. Together, we can make a lasting impact, forging a future where animals roam freely, and humans live in harmony with the precious beings that share our planet.
In 1991, the Supreme Court issued a significant declaration stating, “We accept on principle that through the medium of education, awareness of the environment and its problems related to pollution should be taught as a compulsory subject.” This pivotal moment set the foundation for change. In December 2003, the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) formulated a model syllabus for Environmental Education (EE), leading to the introduction of an Environmental Education syllabus at all educational levels from 2004 onwards.
However, despite these progressive steps, many educational institutions faced challenges in effectively implementing the syllabus. The lack of resources, goodwill, and faculty hindered their efforts to integrate environmental education successfully. Recognizing this gap, we decided to take action.
Our journey began by initiating the EAS project, primarily focusing on Kendriya Vidyalayas. We were grateful to receive approval and recognition from the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan of the Kolkata region. This endorsement paved the way for our transformative project, “Environmental Awareness among the Students.” Our project aimed to educate and engage students from Kendriya Vidyalayas in Kolkata about environmental conservation in a practical and impactful manner.
To achieve this, we employed various innovative approaches, such as LCD projections, hands-on activities, quizzes, and target-based applications. By making the learning experience interactive and engaging, we aimed to instill a deep understanding of the environmental challenges we face.
We firmly believe that a lack of education is a major contributor to environmental degradation. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that our children are aware of the various environmental problems surrounding them. By empowering them with knowledge, we equip them to find sustainable solutions and create a better world. After all, children are the future, and it is our responsibility to educate them from a tender age so that they can grow up to lead sustainable and eco-friendly lives.
We advocate for a compulsory environmental studies class to be included in the curriculum at the primary level and onwards. Furthermore, we motivate the students by organizing a range of engaging activities such as showing wildlife films featuring indigenous species, interactive demonstrations, thought-provoking discussions, encouraging questions and answers, stimulating quizzes, lively debates, inspiring art competitions, and creative slogan writing exercises. To enhance their practical understanding, we assign them various tasks, including conducting an “electricity audit” in their school and home, participating in plantation drives, and completing survey sheets of the local flora and fauna. We also acknowledge the efforts and enthusiasm of our students by providing certificates to recognize their active participation and dedication.
At our NGO, we are dedicated to bridging the gap between environmental education and practical application. Together, let us embark on a transformative journey towards creating a generation that is well-equipped to tackle environmental challenges and build a greener, more sustainable world for all. We appreciate your support and encourage you to join us on this inspiring journey towards environmental awareness and education. Together, we can make a difference and create a greener and more harmonious world.
Green Mission: A Journey of Ecological Awareness and Action
Aranyaj Society embarked on a transformative mission known as “Green Mission” in 2011, with the valuable support of the Department of School Education (Government of West Bengal) and Paschimbanga Saba Shiksha Avijan. The grand inauguration of this initiative took place during the Forest Week celebration on July 14, 2011, graced by the presence of our esteemed Chief Minister, Smt. Mamata Banerjee. The event marked the beginning of a massive plantation and awareness program, aiming to cultivate one million Green Warriors who possess ecological thinking, the will to act, and the courage to make a difference.
The success and growth of Green Mission have been possible through collaborations and partnerships with various entities. In the 2012-13 session, we received support from the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (WBSEDCL). In the following year, the Department of Panchayat and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal, recommended our project to all District Magistrates, further strengthening our mission. The year 2014-15 witnessed financial assistance from Oil India Corporation, contributing to our efforts towards a greener future.
Building upon the foundation of environmental consciousness, our campaigners have placed increased emphasis on promoting cleanliness and good sanitation habits, aligning with the vision of our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s dream project, “Swachh Bharat Mission.”
Throughout the year, we organize seminars, rallies, and events in different schools and localities to commemorate important environmental observances. These celebrations include World Environment Day on June 5th, Forest Week from July 14th to 20th, World Nature Day on July 17th, International Tiger Day on July 29th, World Water Week from August 31st to September 6th, and the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on September 16th.
With great pride, we share that we have distributed 200,000 saplings among school children, instilling in them the importance of tree plantation and environmental stewardship. These saplings are not just symbols of greenery, but tangible contributions towards a sustainable future.
By actively engaging with schools and communities, we aim to instill a deep sense of environmental responsibility, raising awareness about the importance of preserving our natural resources and protecting our planet. Through Green Mission, we are nurturing a generation of environmentally conscious individuals who will champion the cause of sustainability and ecological balance.
Join us on this remarkable journey of ecological awareness and action. Together, let’s sow the seeds of change, cultivate a greener future, and create a world where harmony between humans and nature prevails.
Aranyaj-“Aranyaj Society For Educational And Environmental Development“ is a non-profit, Voluntary, Tax Exempted, 80G & FCRA registered organization
Charity ID : AACAA3817G
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