Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
10-August-2015 13:56 IST
Environment Minister Launches School Nursery Yojana

‘No Better Combination than that of Students and Trees’: Javadekar

The Government has launched the School Nursery Yojana, an initiative to bring students closer to nature, by involving them in raising of saplings in nurseries created in schools. The underlying theme of the Yojana is to plant a tree for sustainable future and to make the nation clean and green. Under the Yojana, students will sow the seeds, grow saplings in the school nursery, as part of practical exercise for Biology classes and extra-curricular activities for students of other streams. The students will also carry out a tree census in their school and the locality.

Addressing the students at the function to launch the scheme here today, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Shri Prakash Javadekar said that there can be no better combination than that of students and trees. Shri Javadekar said that the Yojana is being launched in 1, 000 schools this year. ‘It will be expanded to cover around 5, 000 schools next year and to about 10, 000 schools in the third year’, he said. The Minister reiterated the Prime Minister’s message on the occasion of World Environment Day to take pride in the number of trees planted by the family, just the same way as they take pride in worldly possessions.

Urging every student to plant a tree each, Shri Javadekar said that every school must earmark space to prepare a small nursery where the saplings could be planted. The Minister urged students to enjoy working with soil and seeds, while sowing the seeds, growing saplings and also carrying a sapling for planting in their home, or neighborhood and nurture it. He said that this way the children will not only live with nature, but also love nature through their experiences. The Minister also presented a sapling and a packet of seeds to students from each school for planting. Shri Javadekar exhorted the students to take the grown sapling planted by them, along with their annual results, to their homes. The students also chanted the slogan of ‘Clean India, Green India’ along with the Minister.

More than sixty participating schools received saplings of their choice from a wide range of species including medicinal plants. Some of the species of saplings distributed to the students include – ‘Neem’, ‘Jamun’, ‘Amaltas’, ‘Kachnar’, ‘Bahera’, ‘Amla’ and ‘Bigonia’. Some of the herbal plants that were distributed include – ‘Tulsi’, ‘Lemon Grass’, ‘Giloi’, ‘Ashwagandha’, ‘Haldi’ and ‘Ilaichi’. A packet of seeds too was given to students, which included species such as ‘Kachnar’, ‘Papdi’, ‘Kaner’, ‘Neem’ and ‘Bigonia’. Around 5, 000 saplings were distributed to school students and some nearby residents. The plants were made available for public distribution by the Forest Department of Government of NCT Delhi and Delhi Parks and Garden Society.

The main objective of the School Nursery Yojana is to create an everlasting bond between the young students and plants and trees. Some of the other objectives of the Yojana include - providing an opportunity to the students to learn about nature and work with soil, develop among the students an organic linkage and positive emotions for the environment, keep the schools and the neighbourhood green, enable schools to distribute saplings to students to plant in their homes and surroundings and create an army of young, green warriors. Through the School Nursery Yojana, the Ministry will support schools to provide all the essential facilities for raising of saplings for use of students and schools.

A school Nursery will have a small space of a minimum of 100 sq meter for preparing beds for raising saplings and for nursery-related activities, including preparing, planting a mixture of good earth, soil and manure, filling earthen pots and storage of seeds. Each School Nursery is expected to create a 1,000 saplings every year. The schools will be encouraged to take up composting, rain water harvesting and water recycling to inculcate best practices in young minds. Students from various schools were also invited to share their thoughts with the audience.

Addressing the gathering, Environment and Forest Minister of Delhi, Shri Asim Ahmed Khan in his brief remarks said that life can be sustained only through trees and that we can control pollution only through trees.

Earlier, students from Laxman Public School recited Prakriti Vandana. Dr. S. S. Negi, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary welcomed the students, teachers and other dignitaries. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri H. K. Pande, and officers from Delhi Government, NDMC, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were also present on the occasion. Inspector General, Forests, Dr. Rekha Pai, delivered the vote of thanks.