In recent years, there has been a growing consensus that education should be oriented around the idea of ‘sustainable development’. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is particularly important in the Indian Subcontinent, where changing climate, extensive use of resources and forest degradation has emerged as major threat to humankind.
Children are the ambassador for change. ESD or green education among children is the most common and practical solution to protect the earth. Raising awareness about current environmental issues among children can generate change in their families, friends, teachers and further in the society. Educating children leads to multiplier effect but this must be done in the way children enjoy.
Painting is one activity that all children loves. Creating awareness through a painting competition is one of its kind activity that Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the Ministry of Power, Government of India is conducting with support from GIZ India.
Since, the habit of conservation is best introduced and inculcated at the school, there is need to equip children with the information and knowledge on energy conservation and how these children can contribute towards energy savings that in turn reduces the emission of Green House Gases. The method used was organising a painting competition among the school children. The competition is held in three stages, namely, School, State and National Level since 2005.
The paintings drawn by children reflected their interest in the energy conservation activities and their concern about energy crises and climate change, and have effectively conveyed inspiring ideas in their impressing paintings. The vibrant designs, the confident depiction of the topic and remarkable composition seen in these paintings reflects clear understanding of the subject themes in the minds of these young children.
The national level felicitation ceremony was held in the capital city on 14th December, 2016 i.e. the National Energy Conservation Day in presence of Hon’ble Minister of State (IIC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Piyush Goyal. The Hon’ble Minister handed over certificate and other prize to the winners of national level competition. The prize included a publication from BEE that has collection of all the winning paintings from all States and Union Territories along with cash prize of INR 1,00,000/- for first position, INR 50,000/- for second position and INR 25,000/- for third position. There are six consolations prize of INR 10,000/- each as well.
The painting competition is well appreciated in schools outside India that functions as part of Central Board of Secondary Education, a nodal body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development,
Government of India. This is evident from the number of entries received from schools outside India. There is also a separate category of prize that includes USD 500, USD 200 and USD 100 for first, second and third position respective.
The interest in energy conservation that is generated in the children, their parents and families as result of this painting competition suggests that it is meeting the objective of enhancing awareness on use of energy, particularity in domestic sector.