By Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Pankaj Kumar, Dec 12, 2019 17:37
Participants who had written thoughtful essays after prior research were honoured at a prize distribution function of the NMMH-HT PACE essay writing contest held at Indira Paryavaran Bhawan here on Wednesday.
In her welcome address, Dr Naaz Rizvi, director, National Museum of Natural History, said the competition helped create awareness. It encouraged children to go and search for knowledge about conservation, discuss it with peers and pass it on to others. Participation, and not winning, is the key in such contests, she said and emphasised that humankind will be affected if nature is not in balance. The environment is important for our survival. If every individual takes small steps, it would become a chain reaction.
The chief guest was Arvind Nautiyal, joint secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and climate Change, who said, “Such events will become more successful if we all do our individual bit to save the environment.”
Annapoorna Sehgal, head, education, HT Media Ltd, said, “This competition is a wonderful way of encouraging students to express their concerns regarding the environment. I greatly value our long-standing partnership with NMNH.”
Expectedly, the youngsters present were upbeat about the event. The first prize winner in the junior category, Parna Joshi, a Class 5 student at the Bal Bharati Public School, Ghaziabad, said the aspect she likes best about the contest is that it is based on nature. “We learnt from other participants and the contest will spread awareness. I wrote on the basis of the knowledge I had gained in Classes 3, 4 and 5.”
English teacher Sunita Sial came to collect the first prize in the senior category as the winner, Hemang Choubey of Indraprastha International School, Dwarka, was unwell. She said, “As the youth are instrumental in bringing about change, the contest would help in environment protection. It also helps boost their creativity and develops writing skills.”
Yash Mittal, a Class 8 student of Universal Public School, Preet Vihar, and winner of the third prize in the senior category, said, “If we don’t do anything to save the environment, we will be the last generation on Earth. The competition will inspire many. After publication, the students’ essays will raise awareness.”
Annie Titus, a teacher at Ryan International, Greater Noida, said, “The event gave a platform to children to express their views. They came up with innovative ideas. Creative minds were at work. Students got an opportunity to explore and generate creative ideas.”
The parents who accompanied the students who had come to collect the prizes, were also an enthusiastic lot. Guneet Kohli, the mother of Samaira Kohli of Scottish High International School, Gurugram, who won an encouragement prize in the junior category, appreciated the competition as a good initiative because it made the participants think about the steps they can take to protect our environment.
The competition was held on November 8.