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Young Citizens Presented Solutions to Climate Change Challenges in Front of Kolkata Decision-Makers


News Desk, News Nation 360: The Conference of Schools (COS) 2023 brought together young people from Kolkata and Sundarbans to voice their concerns, ideas and solutions about climate change mitigation and adaptation to decision-makers of the city. This event was an opportunity for students aged 13-17 (Class 8-12) currently enrolled in academic institutions to showcase their problem-solving skills and a chance to interact with key decision-makers and industry experts on sustainability. The Conference was attended by 26 schools across Kolkata and Sundarbans represented by 54 students at Offbeat CCU, Kolkata. The theme for COS 2023 was "Mitigation and Adaptation Solutions Proposed by Youth to Climate Change Challenges in Kolkata and Sundarbans."

The topics of focus of this Conference included Urban greenery, Blue Infrastructure (waterbodies, lake systems, wetlands and rivers), Traffic Congestion, Air Pollution, Waste (Upcycling, Recycling, Management, Segregation), Sustainable Mobility (Electric Vehicles, Non Motorised Transport), Survival of Sundarbans, and Natural Disasters. Students presented their insights and solutions in English, Hindi or Bengali. The Conference was inaugurated in the presence of Guest of Honour Consul-General Manfred Auster, German Consulate General Kolkata. In the morning session, school delegations presented their research on their chosen topic which they worked on during the pre-conference preparation period of more than 3 weeks. They received feedback and evaluation from mentors who are experienced professionals in the field. Pauline Laravoire, Co-owner, Y-East stated that she wanted to thank and congratulate all the schools for participating in this event. This was a very important event for them to discuss the different aspects of climate change. It was important to share the voices of youths on how to tackle climate change challenges at local and regional levels. It was more important because they all will face the consequences of climate change today or tomorrow. They need strength and power for this as the youths have the capacity to tackle this and that is the reason they were all here today to listen to them. They will take forward some of the best solutions that emerged today. Mallika Jalan of CCC, Anshuman Das of Welthungerhilfe, Nobina Gupta of Disappearing Dialogues, Arjan Basu Roy of Nature Mates, Dr Bhargab Maitra and Dr Saptarshi Sen of IIT Kharagpur, Suparna Dutta of SwitchON Foundation, Kankana Das of LIFE, Lata Bhatia of Kolkata Zero Waste Bazaar, Sujata Chatterjee of, Priyank Patel of Livolt, Satanjib Gupta of Kolkata Cycle Samaj, Manohar Bethapudi of Motovolt, Dr Niranjan Jaladas of Netaji Nagar College for Women, Dr Mourani Sinha of Techno India University and Susmita Guha of Save the Children were mentors for COS 2023. The day concluded with the synthesised presentations being delivered to key government stakeholders such as Rajanvir Singh Kapoor (IAS), MD WBTC, Kaliyamurthi Balamurugan, Chief Environment Officer, Dept. of Environment, GoWB, Shri Atul Prakash, Principal Director, RTI, IA & AD, Govt. of India, Kolkata, Col. Indrajit Roy, General Manager, New Town Business Club, Santanu Patra, Superintending Engineer, C-III, R&B Sector, KMDA, Ujjal Bose, Sr. Audit Officer, RTI, IA & AD, Govt. of India, Kolkata along with industry experts such as Manoshi Roy Chowdhury, Co-Chairperson, Techno India Group, Pradip Chopra, Chairman, PS Group, Nandan Mall, Founder and CMD, Hulladek and an awards ceremony for top three school delegations who would receive opportunities to be mentored by various experts on sustainability to implement their ideas. The winners of the Conference of Schools 2023 were Techno India Group Public School, Garia (Winner), Shri Shikshayatan School (First Runner-Up) and Mahadevi Birla World Academy (Second Runner-Up).

Pic : Krishnendu Kundu

Report : Anustup Kundu

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