Earth Day: a day for reflection at the Academy | Aga Khan Academies

Earth Day: a day for reflection at the Academy

25 April 2019

People around the world observed Earth Day on Monday 22nd April. At the Academy, students of the Middle Years Programme brought the school together to understand and reflect on human impact on the environment. “I don’t think saying ‘Happy Earth Day’ is how we should greet each other today,” said Sreelatha Kumar, Junior School Principal and faculty member of the Green Committee, in her opening remarks, setting the tone for what was a stirring and informative Monday morning.

The assembly was held in four stations across campus. Each installation targeted different causes, touching on waste disposal, deforestation, sustainability and awareness. “Everyday things have plastic in them that we don’t always know about,” says Safa Surani of grade 10. Safa was part of a presentation that displayed daily-use material like packaging, washing and edible products and showed their hidden plastic composition.

In a poignant street-play style performance, students clad in black showed how multi-national development projects in forested areas affect human life, taking the example of the coal-mining project at Hasdeo Arand, Chhattisgarh, which was recently greenlit by the Indian government. The play touched on the Faustian bargain that these projects offer, promising economic growth, overlooking the generations of damage they cause.

At the Academy diving pool, a student threw plastic bottles down from the diving board onto the water as student “marine life” swam around. Titled “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” the performance art piece showed the school how we dispose non-biodegradable waste, critiquing consumerist attitudes. The diving pool has also since been emptied in an effort to conserve water this summer.

“Through art exhibits and a street play we tried to help people ‘connect the dots’ and see how our seemingly insignificant actions contribute to a global phenomenon,” says Jacintha Thota, grade 9. “By spreading awareness, events such as this help mobilize youth to take climate action and build a stronger future.”

Other installations at this year’s Earth Day were an environment friendly rangoli station, and a series of talks and discussions on sustainability in our personal lives. “The only thing one can change is oneself,” said Himani Sood, MYP humanities teacher and Green Committee faculty member.

For over a year now, the Academy Green Committee has worked toward making the Academy a greener and more responsible institution. “Our Academies’ commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in the participation of our faculty, staff and students in the wider Indian Green Schools agenda," says Head of Academy, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher. The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad prides itself on being a green institution, certified platinum rating by the Indian national IGBC Green Schools Rating System.