Many activities of the clubs will be taken online: officials

The Delhi government is trying to revive about 2,000 ‘eco clubs’ in schools and colleges, many of which became non-functional during the pandemic, according to officials.

The department is also planning to make many activities of the clubs online and organise events and competitions to sensitise students.

“We are trying to revive the clubs. Due to the pandemic, schools were shut and there was no way to organise events and spend funds on programmes. On Wednesday, we are organising a virtual meet with different organisations and teachers to brainstorm ideas on how to run these clubs during the pandemic. We will have to move at least part of the activities online,” a Delhi government official said.

“The idea of these clubs is to make students aware about the environment and teach them to protect it. This will have a ripple effect on thousands of households, as they will talk about it to their families,” the official said.

Grants for institutions

Last year, the department surrendered ₹2 crore, which was earmarked for the eco clubs. Eco clubs used to organise various campaigns, quiz competitions and awareness programmes on the theme of environment. Colleges and senior secondary schools are eligible for a grant of ₹50,000 a year for each eco club and the amount is ₹30,000 for secondary schools and ₹20,000 for middle and primary schools.

Rupa Arora, former in-charge of an eco-club at a government-run school in Shalimar Bagh, said they would be able to do better programmes once they start getting the grants. “In our school, the club has about 50 students. We used to take them to gardens to study different types of trees and they also used to take charge of a herbal garden at the school. We organised rallies for promoting ‘cracker free’ Deepavali and poster competition for students,” said Ms. Arora.

She said if the school starts getting the grants, they will be able to give prizes to students for various competitions. “Even during the pandemic, the club was not completely dead. We organised quizzes and activities. Earlier, we used the grant money to buy seeds, pots and for trips for students to gardens or other places. This year we don’t even have money to make banners,” she said.

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