On the 24th of January this year, Bhumi Kolkata had organized Eco Anko: An Interactive Poster Drawing Session for children to raise environmental awareness. The children belonged to the Kasba centre of The Hope Foundation India’s Kolkata chapter, which was also the venue of the event. The initiative was undertaken with the kind co-operation of the Rotaract Club of Heritage Institute of Technology. The session started early afternoon at 1:00pm and went on for the next couple of hours. The ambience was vibrant and alive, and the children were buzzing with energy and fresh ideas.
In this planet we share, resources to support human civilization are getting exhausted due to rampant, unsustainable industrial practices and gross over-consumption, the ominous shadow of man-made climate change looms over the future of us all. With the session’s main focus on raising ‘environmental awareness’, the kids were divided into groups and were given themes such as air pollution, global warming, afforestation, etc.
The children came up with creative depictions on the issues, like a little girl who took the urgent need for afforestation. She drew dark, menacing factories in the left of her composition in contrast with a giant, smiling tree that overwhelmed the right half. The dark pillars of the chimneys with darker smoke billowing out from the top eerily evoked the shapes of green trees, but as if in photographic negative – sinister shadows in a world turned upside down.
A little boy drew two earths as smiley faces, except that the left face was overrun with factories and urban sprawls and had it tongue out, panting for breath. The right one still had its green cover mostly intact and was smiling broadly.
There were other posters – one decrying vehicular pollution through smoke and noise, while another invoking the Indian tricolour with pride in calling out to save our nation’s trees.
It was a rare experience for all of us in Bhumi Kolkata to participate with such energy alongside the children and our enthusiastic collaborators. We all went home from the session with joy in our hearts and a renewed faith to strive ever harder for a better and a greener future.