Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA
Eight year old kids teach the importance of sustainability. Tracing how the Universe evolved out of “Big Bang,” some 13.7 billion years ago, 231, 3rd grade students of Bengaluru-based Vidyashilp Academy, today sent a strong message to save the environment.
As the father of a 3rd grade student Aditya Ritvik Ramkumar at Vidyashilp, I was fortunate to attend the event “Sneak Peek,” organized as part of environmental sciences curriculum at the school, wherein 231 students under the guidance of a team of twelve dedicated teachers created an awareness to a room full of adults on the importance of saving the planet and environmental sustainability.
The nearly two hour event started with a lesson on how earth adapted itself after the big bang explosion, teaching the importance of adaptability. Self-development, adaptation, need to dream were some of the positive messages, eight year old educators told grown up students who were watching the performance with attention and awe. These are indeed management lessons, gurus teach in the hallowed halls of Harvard and Institute Institutes of Management.
For industry professionals, fiber science and materials researchers, there were a few lessons such as forests needs to be saved, industrialization is needed, but must be balanced. The performance by budding citizens had plenty of lessons for human development. Ms. V. K. Seema, the teacher who was part of the 12-member team at Vidyashilp told this scribe that the school wanted to use innovative methods to train the next generation, particularly about the importance of saving the planet and environmental sustainability. It is pleasing to know that schools these days are focusing on education related to sustainability, which will definitely lead to a well-balanced economic growth.
During my current travels in India, it has been pleasure to notice that many established industry groups and start-ups in the textiles sector such as Aruppukottai-based Jayalakshmi Textiles, Coimbatore-based Kanaka Lakshmi Mills and Chennai-based WellGro United are joining hands to develop biodegradable technical textiles such as oil absorbents, next generation cotton for industrial applications, etc.
Vidyashilp’s third graders ended up their event with an important message—“a little bit of dream and hope will lead to light at the end of the tunnel.” What a sage message!