|JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY|
The will to bring in positive changes requires leadership quality and calls for innovation. This is what was witnessed, when Mahi-Mandavi hostel celebrated Green Diwali this year on November 5, 2010. The festival started in the morning with a plantation drive, spanning over beautification of the hostel premises and ended in the least amount of use of crackers in the University. The theme of the festival – go green – was initiated and led by the young Hostel-President, Mr. Phakharuddin Ansari and the members of his Committee. This move had already seen a huge success on the occasion of the Independence Day, August 15, 2010. The festive occasion was graced by the august presence of the Dean of Students Welfare and the Registrar of the University, Prof. V. K. Jain. He inaugurated the event and addressed a massive audience of the Residents, Wardens and other dignitaries. The first among over 150 saplings covering a range of fruits, flowers and shade was planted by the Dean himself, which was then followed by the Senior Warden of the Hostel, Mr. Ravikesh, other present dignitaries, volunteers and residents. The Dean congratulated the Hostel and its President for being the first in JNU to take such an Eco-friendly initiative and promised to develop the area in front of the Hostel into a beautiful park, work on which has already started. This move saw its gratification on the following November 14, 2010 when the first ever Bicycle Rally of JNU was successfully organized.
Chandrika Kumar, Research Scholar
'First JNU Cycle Rally' to Spread Environmental Awareness
The idea of organizing a cycle rally in the University was conceived by Prof. V K Jain, Registrar and Dean of Students Welfare and Dr. Abhijit Karkun, Professor at the Centre for French and Francophone Studies (CFFS) as an initiative to promote environmental concern in the university community. The First JNU Cycle Rally was also envisioned as a launch pad for the JNU Eco-Club, which would further the environmental cause by organizing successive cycle rallies, tree plantation drives, cleanliness drives at public places in and around the campus. Md. Phakhruddin Ansari, an MA student at the CFFS and President of Mahi-Mandvi Hostel, took on the role of co-ordinating and organizing the event. The office of the Dean of Students and the university Sports Office were instrumental in providing financial support for the rally. Mr. Ansari could also enlist the support of the presidents of all the student hostels on campus in organizing the event.
On November 14, 2010 around two hundred cyclists, young and old, gathered in front of the Administrative Block of this university to participate in the First JNU Cycle Rally. Before the start of the rally, the JNU Eco-Club was officially inaugurated by Prof. V K Jain, who took out precious time from his busy schedule to attend the event. Prof. Sachidanand Sinha, Associate Dean of Students, was also present. Besides university students, a considerable number of children of the non-teaching staff were also among those who enthusiastically took part in the rally. Dr. Abhijit Karkun himself, who also offered invaluable logistical assistance, joined in the pedal-pushing endeavour. Another member of the JNU teaching staff, Dr. Thomas Schwarz, a DAAD visiting lecturer at the Centre of German Studies who is a regular cyclist, also took out time to participate in the rally. The cyclists had to cover a distance of about eight kilometers proceeding through the Dakshinapuram residential area and passing the Old Transit House, Ganga Dhaba, Kendriya Vidyalaya, the hostels Tapti, Mahi-Mandavi, Lohit, Chandrabhaga, Koyna to come back to the Administrative Block. The participants shouted the slogans like “Let's Go Green, Go for a Green Campus”. Major P K Sangwan, the Chief Security Officer of the University, and his team of security personnel played an important role in managing the traffic on the route to be taken by the cyclists. They were presented with a certificate of participation.
The success of the First JNU Cycle Rally was evident in the wide-scale participation it saw. Its significance lies in its promise to be a potent vehicle of spreading environmental awareness among university communities in a time when environmental pollution and its associated dangers pose a serious threat to a sustainable and healthy life.
Md Phakhruddin Ansari, Athletics Convener,
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