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HCL Foundation launches ‘Generation for Climate Action’ initiative for school children



HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of HCLTech, has launched a national-level ‘Generation for Climate Action’ (GENCAN) initiative in partnership with the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) for promoting awareness and knowledge on climate action in schools through its flagship program, HCL Harit – The Green Initiative.

Marking the Earth Day celebration, the initiative was inaugurated on April 20 in New Delhi, in the presence of dignitaries such as Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice-President, Global CSR & Director, HCL Foundation; Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director CEE; Dr. Sunita Farkya, Professor & Head, Department of Education in Science and Mathematics, NCERT; Dr. Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives; Dr. Pratibha Singh, WASH, Sustainability and Climate Change Specialist, UNICEF India and Sam Barratt, Chief of the Youth, Education and Advocacy Unit, UNEP.

Over 200 students participated in this national launch. Besides, an interactive panel with nine students took place where students shared about the actions that they are taking at home and school towards a greener planet.

Generation for Climate Action Initiative is a 10-month school-based climate education and action learning program for Grades 6 to 12. The program will begin in April-May 2023 and conclude in February 2024 with the announcement of the winners.

This initiative will involve 50-70 government schools spread across India targeting about 2,500-3,000 children.

The program seeks to provide school children with the required knowledge and skills on climate change and take individual and collective actions towards carbon footprint reduction of the school.

The initiative will also boost teachers’ ability to successfully engage students in carbon-neutral practices in their daily lives.

As part of the program, students will be provided with the right skills to become Climate Literate – Build knowledge, attitude, and values about climate change science and concerns; Climate Detective – Explore and discover the school’s carbon footprint; Climate Hero – Prepare a school climate action plan and act to offset its carbon footprint; and Climate Reporter – Document and report on the events.

Based on various themes like water, energy, waste, biodiversity, and sustainable practices, one teacher from each participating school will serve as the program’s coordinator and will work with a group of 5-8 students from 6th to 12th standard.

The Challenge procedure will take 8-9 months to complete. Once the school has registered, 1 or 2 mentor teachers must be nominated for the training, which is followed by multiple rounds of discussions and interactions with other Youth Climate leaders before the final evaluation is submitted.

Exemplary work will be recognized with the yearly ‘Harit Climate Leadership Awards’, and an annual camp will be conducted for Harit Climate Leaders. A compendium of best practices, solutions, and case studies on climate action will also be published. A certificate of participation will be given to all student leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff, and schools.

 “As the world grapples with the implications of climate change, it is important that we educate and instill the right values in our school children to lessen the impact of this global issue. HCL Foundation has been working tirelessly to conserve the environment and our partnership with Centre for Environment Education extends our commitment to climate change mitigation through community involvement. The initiative will promote positive thoughts and activities on sustainability in a generation that will inherit our legacy,” said Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation.

 “Our mission through this initiative is to support and equip schools, teachers, and students to address today’s climate challenges. The initiative is being launched at the right time when the role of sustainability and climate change education has been recognized at the national level in its education policy and other government initiatives,” stated Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director CEE.

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