Parents Workshop under 'The Climate EduXchange III' - Pune
24 April 2012


Venue: Vikhe Patil High School, Gokhale Nagar, Pune


  • The workshop was organized to review the project activities and the outcomes. Also it was to have a common platform for the students, teachers and students to exchange their experiences with the project and put forth their ideas and views.

A total of 140 students, 11 parents and 26 teachers attended the workshop. The details of the participants are provided in the annexure at the end of the report.

Ms Priyamvada Gambhir, coordinator, Vikhe Patil School initiated the workshop with a welcome address. She gave a brief introduction about TERI's work and also mentioned the kind of association her school has had with TERI for the last 3 years. She thanked TERI for organizing the workshop and invited Mr Siddharth Edake, coordinator TERI to address the participants. Mr Siddharth introduced the topic of discussion which was 'Lifestyle Change and Consumerism' and requested the audience to show their active participation. He said that it's important for each individual to make the right choices in his/her life and think of the environment first. After all 'environment is not what we have inherited from our forefathers, but it's something that we have borrowed from our children'.

Later a short documentary called 'Vikalpa' was screened for the audience which was about a small boy who made the right choice in the end to protect the environment. After the film, Master Nishant Date and Master Parth Mantri from Vikhe Patil School presented the topic on 'Lifestyle Change and Consumerism'. They started with asking the fellow students, the teachers and the parents if there has been an exceptional change in the lifestyle and upbringing of the children. They explained that metropolitan cities are facing an array of problems like air pollution due to rise in vehicles, water pollution, lack of sanitation, waste disposal, power cuts etc which is all due to negligence to the core problem.

Master Nishant next spoke about consumerism and explained the interlinkages between the environment, consumerism and lifestyle changes. A person's lifestyle is directly related to consumerism.

The disproportionate ratio between demand and supply leads to over exploitation of natural resources. The increasing population's desire for new and better products has further led to unsustainable demand and supply of materials. Also the current trend is to buy products to represent one's social status and have what others have.

Later Master Parth asked the participants the difference between needs and wants. Most of the students said that they need branded shoes, trousers etc while the parents said that if they are earning well what is the harm in buying fancy big cars like an Audi or a Safari. Master Parth then explained that when one is buying big car's he/she should also keep in mind that India doesn't have wide roads or the kind of infrastructure to support private transport. Also due to the reducing supply of natural resources it's uncertain whether the fossil fuels will last forever. Mr Parth also said that we are buying these days not out of need but because others are buying or the advertisements convince us to go on a shopping spree. Master Nishant added to this point saying that there are a variety of options available in the market to suit one's need, taste and lifestyle. Also the growing trend of China products and Use and Throw items is just adding to the problem of waste. He later gave an example of use and throw ballpen which is cheaper cost-wise but doesn't last for more than 10 days.

Master Nishant next spoke about the environmental effects of consumerism in the context of extraction of natural resources, generation of pollutants and waste and extensive use of energy during the life cycle of a product. The more an individual consumes, the more he/ she adds to the carbon footprint. The concept of carbon footprint was briefly described to the participants and why one needs to reduce their personal carbon footprint. The participating parents, teachers and students came up with various tips by which one can reduce their personal footprint.

Both Master Nishant and Master Parth concluded the presentation by requesting the parents and students to start following a sustainable lifestyle and take small steps that could be in the favour of the environment. The ideas given by the two were not to use plastic bags as well as the use and throw products, use of star label electrical appliances etc. Mrs Devika Deshpande, teacher, Kalmadi highschool also shared her ideas with the students and their parents. She said that intelligent people, kind hearted people are not judged by what they wear or use but because of their qualities and good character. Hence everyone should keep this in mind and not bother about the market trends. The parents, teachers and students later shared their experiences as being part of this project and also spoke about the initiatives that they have personally taken to conserve the environment.

Ms Vandana Bhagat, teacher, Abhinav Vidyalaya concluded the workshop with a vote of thanks and also thanked TERI for giving a chance to her school to represent at the Delhi SEARCH concluding workshop and motivating her students by giving the best school of the year award for collection of dry waste and tetrapak cartons.