RCE Srinagar Celebrates International Mountain Day 2017

Photos: RCE Srinagar

CEE Himalaya (the Himalayan regional office of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) and the secretariat of RCE Srinagar) celebrated International Mountain Day (IMD) 2017 at Ghaghara Ghat, Jarbal Block, Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh, India on 27 December 2017.

The importance of the mountains, including the interactions and linkages between mountains and plains were discussed during the event, especially in terms of flood control and management, as well as understanding the necessity of viewing rivers from their origin. As such, the origin of river Ghaghara in Tibet and its course through Nepal and India was shared.

Participants included 126 school children and four teachers of the Government primary school, Khasepur, and over 110 people from three villages: the Khasepur, Tapesepah and Behrampur, with the Gram Pradhans and other representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) of the three villages present.

Also in attendance and involved in conducting activities were: scientists Dr. C.P. Singh and Dr. Dinesh Kumar of the Fisheries Entrepreneurship Training Centre of the Narendra Dev University of Agriculture & Technology; Karnailganj, Gonda, Mr. Achantiya Tripathi and Mr. Mahendra Pratap Singh of TSA; artist, designer and journalist Ram Babu Pal of the Lucknow Arts College of the Lucknow University; Mr. G.K. Chakravarty of the Framing Point; and Dr. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar, Regional Director, CEE.

Activities focused on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Environmental Protection and Livelihood Improvement of the people affected by the Ghaghara River floods. The villagers, Gram Pradhans and other representatives of the PRIs shared their problems, whilst the scientists of the Fisheries Entrepreneurship Training Centre spoke about the support their centre can provide to people affected by the floods, many of which belong to the fishermen community.

School children took part in quizzes, drawing & painting, games (such as ‘Riskland’ – a game that creates awareness and educates people on dealing with disasters), and reading IEC (Information, Education and Communications) material on DRR, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and environmental protection. Children were also able to express their creativity through the creation of ‘Rangoli’, conveying the local intangible cultural heritage and their thoughts on environmental conservation through their designs.

Teachers from schools in flood-affected areas shared the extent of the conditions and how NGOs could support them. CEE pledges to continue its efforts in helping these schools towards DRR preparedness, and to improving the WASH sector and livelihood options for these communities.

The event was made possible from financial support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal and Give2Asia and assistance from Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), RCE Srinagar, Sejahtera Forest, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and Mountain Partnership.

A film of the IMD 2017 celebration created by CEE Himalaya can be viewed here.