Meet these 'cool', earth warriors

Apr 08, 2013, 00:26 IST | Swapnal Tilekar

Pune teachers Seema Sharma and Anurag Maloo undertook a journey to the cold climes of Antarctica last month, with renowned environmentalist Sir Robert Swan, with a mission to spread awareness about global warming and the importance of doing your bit for the earth. The duo spoke to The Guide about their experiences, and how how it changed their perception of teaching beyond what's written in the books

Environment education might be a compulsory subject in our curriculum for years now, but these teachers from the city went a step further by undertaking a challenging expedition to Antarctica, to raise awareness about global warming.

Two school teachers from the city, Seema Sharma and Anurag Maloo recently returned from an expedition in Antarctica, which they had undertaken to spread awareness about global warming and the need for recycling. The duo accompanied acclaimed environmentalist Sir Robert Swan on the trip to the continent.

Seema Sharma holding the Project SEARCH banner with Sir Robert Swan

Sharing her experience from the journey, Sharma, a Science teacher at the Vidya Valley School says, “I feel really glad that I got this opportunity to work for a cause along with the likes of polar explorer Robert Swan. To make this happen, I won the Project SEARCH ‘Go South’ contest.

I intend to use the platform provided by Project SEARCH to spread awareness on the importance of recycling and the benefits of preserving and conserving the planet for a better tomorrow. As a teacher, I will make sure that I will pass on my experience and knowledge to my students.” After witnessingthe effects of global warming first hand on her trip, Sharma intends to show the evidence to everyone and what one needs to do save the ecology. After her experience, Sharma feels preaching in the classroom and experiencing things, personally, are very different and will, now assert on the importanceof practical knowledge to her students.

Anurag Maloo during his trip to Antarctica

Maloo, a 23-year-old teacher from PMC School, was one of the youngest teachers on the journey (which included four teachers from 29 countries). Maloo was selected under the project; Sustainability in classrooms — Expedition for a better, responsible, hospitable and sustainable tomorrow.

Talking about his experience, Maloo said, “To survive in extremely cold in Antarctica, one needs to be mentally and physically strong, with tolerance for adversity and uncertainty. For me, the last few weeks on the voyage to Antarctica has changed my way of observing things. It reminds me, everyday, of God’s creations, of the extraordinary magnificence in mundane objects, beauty, inspiration and celebration. Celebrate it. Protect it. Preserve it.”

Maloo, like Sharma asserts on including the importance of sustainable development, and the interdependence of humans and nature in our educational system, “I believe that teaching about climate change is crucial to ensuring a new generation of people who understand and are able to be leaders on climate change, taking solution oriented action to protect the environment and human life on Earth. Sustainability is something that you can practice in any field, engineering, manufacturing and even teaching.” 

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