The Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots IIM Indore Chapter was inaugurated at IIM Indore on January 29, 2020. Similar to the mission of the organization, the Roots & Shoots IIM Indore Chapter focuses on empowering the youth to bring in a positive change in the community. The inauguration commenced with the lamp lighting by Professor Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore; Ms. Shweta Khare, Country Coordinator, Roots & Shoots India; Dr. Rahul Banerjee, Urban Water Management Expert and Professor Sneha Thapliyal, Assistant Professor, IIM Indore.
Professor Thapliyal welcomed the guests. She noted that while most of us are aware of the environmental concerns faced by us today, we are often are not sensitised enough for individual level action. “We need to focus on three things – our role as citizens of the nation as well as the world; our role as members of an educational institution and our role as individuals – in our attempts towards sustainability”, she said.
This was followed by Inaugural Address by Professor Rai. He shared his concerns about carbon emission since the year 1750-2018 and its impact on climate change. He said, ‘We need to remove FIRE – Fear, Inaction, Relationship Issues, and Envy. The foundation of all nations should be built on sustenance, peace and ethical leadership. Moreover, the solutions to all environmental issues must be found together.” Professor Rai discussed the ways in which IIM Indore is contributing towards building a strong nation. ‘The future depends on what you do today. Seek self-improvement. Find out what you’re passionate about. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Even at a province level, you can start doing things on your own with full capabilities’, he said.
Ms. Shweta Khare then delivered the commencement address. She said that even though the country is making progress, the cities are cleaner—Indore being the cleanest; yet people are still facing water problems. ‘The climate change has affected the weather too. The places with heavy rains are getting more rains and the dry lands are still dryer. There are multiple environmental factors which are affecting the current life and will create problems in the future too’, she said. She explained that we need to look forward to new and innovative pathways via our businesses or organizations, which help in not only protecting the environment but also contributing to the society to live in a better way. ‘Your engagement is critical because if you don’t, our generation will move on and someone must be the custodian of this liveable planet. You are the inheritors of this legacy. You are also the inheritor of this responsibility’, she said.
Mr. Rahul Banerjee shared a presentation on the unsustainably of centralised urban water management in India and the need for decentralisation. He noted that water supply isn’t that big challenge as compared to disposing off the waste water. ‘People aren’t aware of what to do with waste water. Untreated sewage water leads to serious consequences and a loss of 5.2% of GDP’ he said. He said that we need to put in efforts to segregate black water and grey water or recycle and reuse the treated sewage for non-potable applications. He concluded his talk by mentioning that we need to pay attention towards sanitation needs along with proper waste water management as well.
IIM Indore’s mission is to remain contextually relevant and contribute to the nation building in every way possible—including taking care of the environment and encouraging ‘green’ activities. The day also witnessed three interesting presentations by the IPM participants showcasing various sustainability related endeavours on campus.
The first presentation was about measuring the water consumption in a hostel mess which provides food facilities to over 500 participants. The aim of the project was to check the change in water consumption by using high faucet aerators. The team was happy to share that the water consumption dropped to half within a week of installing these faucets. This project was a pilot to plan the implementation of Jal Shakti – water conservation campaign of the government. Roots and Shoots’ IIM Indore chapter also plans to launch a ‘Water Matters’ campaign beyond the campus boundaries.
Pollution is a major concern in protecting the environment and the second team worked on finding out the air pollution level on campus. The team used an Internet of Things based device (Arduino) to monitor air quality. They added filters to measure various pollutants and uploaded the air quality data to IoT platform which can then be easily accessed by any device. Upon the collection of data at different points on campus, they found air quality inside the campus to be twice as clean as the air just outside the green campus.
IIM Indore recently became a plastic-free campus, banning use of single-use plastic bottles, disposals, bags, etc. Students also conduct green PR activities during the fests. The third presentation used econometric models to show that green PR events led to higher outreach and participation in the college fests as compared to their non-green counterparts.
Tomorrow’s activities include birdwatching on campus, and wall art and paper bag making. There is also a student competition – Panacea – where students present solutions for what they consider to be the most pressing social or environmental issue.