November's Green Spotlight on Vasanthi Thandlam | Aga Khan Academies

November's Green Spotlight on Vasanthi Thandlam

21 December 2018

The AKA Hyderabad Green Committee is a student-led initiative that recognises the unsustainable practices in our community and takes action to tackle these issues. We aim to create an environment in our school that is devoid of ignorance of the imminent threat to the environment that unsustainable practices pose. In an attempt to motivate students and staff, we have started the Green Spotlight to recognise the people in our community that promulgate the efforts taken by the community.

‘A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instil a love of learning,’ said Governor Brad Henry. Teachers train the future leaders and here at AKA Hyderabad, we would like to felicitate those who inspire their students to follow sustainable systems. For the first official Green Spotlight, the Green Committee would like to celebrate the efforts of Ms Vasanthi Thandlam. Ms Thandlam is an EAL teacher for students from MYP1-5. She is an ardent activist for environmental awareness and has encouraged students to perceive practices that lead to a more sustainable ecosystem.

Ms Thandlam rejects the conventional method of printing out many worksheets that are usually unnecessary and is using portals such as Google Docs to assure that usage of paper is minimum. AKA Hyderabad’s campus is a haven to diverse and fascinating animal species. Aside from us humans, of course. Ms Thandlam recognised the dismay that our school had towards snakes. With the assistance of an organisation that works for the safety of snakes, she informed Academy guards about safely dealing with snakes and held a session with students to battle stereotypes about snakes. She also helped in the ‘Save Sparrows’ initiative wherein the students built nest-boxes using sustainable resources for the birds and put water bowls all around the school in May 2016. For more information on this, click here.

The Indian Green Building Contest promotes more sustainable and environment-friendly infrastructure in the rapidly industrialized nation of India. Ms Thandlam, along with many students and her colleagues, such as head of operations, Mr David Roy, participated in the IGBC on behalf of the school. They researched to find the efficiency of the water systems at our school and conducted interviews with the school’s architect to provide evidence of sustainable practices in our school. The Academy won a platinum award from the IGBC on 6 October 2016, showcasing the Academy as a pioneer for green schools worldwide. This event resulted in the monitoring of green policies and practices by the school management such as evaluation of food services and plans to limit resource mismanagement. Click here to read amore about green initiatives on campus.

Ms Thandlam remains a prominent figure on campus for the promotion of sustainable practices in our school. She goes by the ideology of ‘live and let live’ which encourages a peaceful human-animal coexistence. She believes that staff members and students must take responsibility of this environment is ours. Ms Thandlam feels that ignorance is prevailing and we must combat this together.

“I feel that there should be a purpose in life,” says Ms Vasanthi. “We have all come into this world and we’re getting so many benefits from what is around us. When there is an opportunity to give back to the environment, our Mother Earth, I think that we should grab it and do something for it.”

Written by Aafiya Bhayani