“Planet, People and Profit are the
three Ps that are central to the issues related to the protection
of the environment. The profit or consumerism is the villain of
the planet that’s getting spoiled by the people indulging into
mindless consumerism,” said Jayaprasad, National Secretary,
Service Civil International (SCI) India, at the youth workshop on
Climate Change in Chennai, India.
Indian Community Welfare
Organization (ICWO) with the support of Service Civil
International (SCI) Italy and KMGNE Germany organized the day long
workshop on August 6, 2011.
“Youth volunteering can be a medium
for intertwining northern and southern campaigns on issues related
to climate change because youth want to change the world,” said
A.J.Hariharan , Secretary, Founder of ICWO.
Another speaker, Devanayyan,
Director of Tholaizhmai Human rights organization passionately
appealed for environmental friendly practices among the youth
asking them to make it a part of their daily lives.
“Its necessary that youth need to
focus on the environmental issue, because over a period of last 5
years, nearly 125 lakes has disappeared in Chennai and the space
is occupied by concrete structures,” he said.
Students from Madras Christian
College, Madras School of Social Work, Hindu College, Mohammed Sathak College, volunteers from Service Civil International SCI
and international youth from Italy, Germany, Australia and USA
participated in the workshop.
The workshop focused on the waste
management, issues and made certain recommendations like massive
balloons should be banned, use of fire crackers to be reduced,
introduction of mobile toilets, to encourage people to volunteer
to clean up toilets, cleaning up the streets. segregated dustbin
should be kept in the streets, creating awareness on usage of
waste bins, having the recycling bins with color coded baskets,
usage of paper cups, use of cotton bags should be practiced, noise
and smoke free festivals, fine those who throw the waste on the
streets or spit on the roads, unnecessary use of horn on roads,
ban on cremation of dead bodies on the river bed, encouragement of
electrical cremation, less usage of electricity, use of cycles as
mode of transportation, tree plantation to be encouraged,
importance of self awareness in reducing the impact of climate
Some participants expressed their
desire to pass on the message of how to tackle the issue of
climate change discussed at the workshop to their family, friends
and schoolmates. Some volunteered for starting an environment club
or recycling project in schools and colleges. A pledge taken to
make this world sustainable for the future generation
Climate change is a significant and
lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns
over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be
a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of
events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather
events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may
occur across the whole earth.
The issue of Climate Change is a key
element of the contemporary interconnections between North and
South of the world. It involves the entire planet. The most
affected countries are those of the Southern hemisphere, while in
the North the majority of Co2 is produced as well as other gases
responsible for global warming. It is therefore essential to deal
with this issue in a holistic way and to train the youth in order
to implement innovative strategies and campaigns against the
causes of Climate Change.
The momentum of environmental
campaign was further buttressed by organizing a cycle rally at the
Marina Beach Chennai on August, 8 2011. The title of the rally was
“Grounding Our Future” to stop global warming.
A large number of participants from
social work department Stella Maris College, Mohammed Sathak
College, Hindu College, Presidency College, C.N.P.T.
Poly-Technical College and Volunteers from USA, Australia
participated in the cycle rally.
Global warming is caused by green
house gases, which trap in the sun’s infrared rays in the earth’s
atmosphere, which in turn heat up the earth’s atmosphere.
These green house effect warming is
called as global warming. The effects of green house effect are
visible more prominently in the recent years, with number of
natural calamities on the rise in the whole world. The global
warming has happened in the past few years and is evident from the
rise in mean temperature of the earth’s atmosphere.
The fight against global warming
cannot be in isolation and it needs collaboration of different
stakeholders, corporate houses, NGOs, CBOs, along with general
Many people and governments are
already working hard to cut greenhouse gases, and each of us can
help in this endeavor. In addition to reducing the gases we emit
to the atmosphere, we can also increase the amount of gases we
take out of the atmosphere. Plants and trees absorb CO2 as they
grow, “sequestering” carbon naturally. Increasing
forestlands and making changes to the way we farm could increase
the amount of carbon we’re storing.
Some of these technologies have
drawbacks, and different communities will make different decisions
about how to power their lives, but the good news is that there
are a variety of options to put us on a path toward a stable
This is the first time a workshop on
climate change and a cycle rally on environmental issues focusing
youth was organized in Chennai. The main objective of the workshop
is to enhance the youth capacity to promote volunteering as a tool
to endorse sustainable life styles. The idea has to be developed
further and enriched by the exchange of ideas of the people living
in other areas of the world how they are dealing with such global
Syed Ali Mujtaba
is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at