~ Over 350-plus students from various government primary schools in and around Chopdem, North Goa, were invited by the Echoes of Earth festival to learn about Goa’s ecology during a festival site walkthrough.
~ Mandrem MLA Jit Arolkar stated that Echoes of Earth’s utilisation of scrap, junk to make art installations is important for students to learn about.
Panaji: In order to raise awareness among the next generation about the importance of sustainability and conservation of Goa’s biodiversity, nearly 350 students were guided on a walkthrough of the Echoes of Earth festival site at Chopdem, enabling them to view the various art installations starring Goan fauna crafted out of upcycled scrap and junk materials.
The students from Class 1 to 4, who were invited to walk around the festival grounds, hailed from more than 10 government primary schools around Chopdem. Mandrem legislator Jit Arolkar mobilised the schools to have students come and learn more about the concepts of sustainability and conservation, through the numerous installations and sustainable practices implemented onsite.
“These students do not get enough exposure to art of this calibre. I want our children to see the art created out of waste materials at the Echoes of Earth festival. This is the right opportunity for them to learn how to create something beautiful and meaningful out of waste,” said Arolkar.
The facilitators of the walkthrough, Manisha Rao and Namita Nalamala from ReefWatch Marine Conservation Goa, were excited by the overwhelming response towards the initiative.
“The walkthrough was a good method of introducing various animals that comprise Goa’s rich biodiversity to children who may not have seen or noticed them before. The art installations present this fauna on a macro level for students to notice the finer details,” said Manisha Rao, project coordinator for ReefWatch Marine Conservation, Goa.
According to Nalamala, education and outreach officer for ReefWatch Marine Conservation, Goa, the art installations being crafted from recycled materials “was a bonus and the children were surprised to see that they were made out of waste materials.”
Sneha Budke, a teacher from the government primary school in Naikwada Paliye, Mandrem, was supportive of the festival’s initiative of inviting students to participate in the walkthrough.
“This is the first time a festival has made an effort to invite children to learn more about sustainability and biodiversity through an immersive experience. We got to see so many animals and insects, many of which we, as teachers, have also forgotten about. Therefore, the walkthrough truly helped raise awareness about the natural wonders of Goa,” said Budke.
Students admired installations by artists Akshay Manjrekar who crafted the Tailless Whip Scorpion and Malabar Tree Nymph butterfly, Nirmal Kulkarni who crafted the Yellow Lipped Sea Krait, Jay Painter who crafted the Humpback Ocean Dolphin, Rhea McCarthy who made the Biodiversity Mural, Yadhunandan who crafted the Praying Mantis and Olive Ridley Turtles.
Artists Prasad N.R. created the Bengal Monitor Lizard, Sadhan crafted The Moon Moth, Natasha crafted the Moonmoth 2, AltNative designed the Indian Gaur, Fosite crafted the Draco Flying Lizard and Cilopsybean Studio created the Jellyfish. All the artworks were installed at the site of the festival, billed as India’s greenest festival. The installations were assembled from various scrap metal, old tyres, e-waste and other recycled materials.