Newsletter : 1-15 December 2011 Vol. : 13      




Goa Vidyaprasharak Mandals (GVM) School students welcoming the participants. 


The 5 day event from 11th to 15th December 2011 ‘Explore and Discover Goa’ saw participation of schools doing exemplary work as Paryavaran Mitra from across the country. 69 schools representing 30 states and Union Territories came together to share and learn. Goa Vidyaprasarak Mandal (GVM), celebrating their centenary year hosted the event.

It started off on 11th December with arrival of the participants at the venue. Many of them had travelled in a train for the first time. Excitement was in the air as the students started sharing their travel adventures and backgrounds. In the evening, there was a visit to the temples of Ponda and stepwells to understand the local cultural heritage.

The participants were formally welcomed by the students of GVMs A.J. de Almeida High School with welcome dinner and cultural programmes.



Mr. Sudhir Sinha and Mr. Kamalakr Sadhali along with other dignitariesinaugurating the event


Mr. Aleixo Sequeira, Honourable Minister of Environment, Government of Goa interacting with the students

Formal inauguration of the event was done by Mr. Aleixo Sequeira, Honourable Minister of Environment, Government of Goa on 12th of December and Mr. Sudhir Sinha, Country Head, CSR & RR ArcelorMittal, India. Mr. Kamalakr Sadhali from Nirmal Vishwa was the keynote speaker in the event.

Participants, decked in their traditional fineries exhibited their action projects through photographs, reports and models.

Astronomy film screening and quiz was conducted in the evening by GVM.


Students exhibiting their action projects


Visitors interacting with the students during the exhibition


Students interacting and learning from contemporaries from different states


Students exploring the night sky at the astronomy centre.


Day 3 started with an early breakfast and a visit to the famous Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo. A walk in a spice plantation familarized them with how different spices used in everyday food are grown. A visit to the Old Goa church, Basilica of Bom Jesus brought them closer to the heritage and history of Goa.


Students going through the spice plantation


Students picking up litter on their way


The Range Officer of Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary sharing his experiences


Visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus



Learning about Mangrooves


Students taking part in the quiz competition at Goa Science Centre


Students taking part in the drawing competition at Goa Science Centre

Day 4 was Ocean awareness day with various activities related to the coastal ecosystem. Starting with a trip to Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary named after the famous ornithologist. The participants also got to experience and understand the unique mangrove ecosystem.

The evening was a treat to the participants when they got a chance to gather knowledge as well as have fun in the Goa Science Centre.


Children performing their traditional dances


Students sharing their experiences

Students got to learn about the ocean through various activities like drawing competition, quiz competition, 3 D film screened on ocean life and body painting, where they got various marine life forms drawn on their hands and faces. The teachers meanwhile got to learn more about coastal management and exchanged views in the teachers forum on how each of their activities have a bearing on the coast and what they can do to manage. This was followed by a visit to the scenic Miramar beach.

Valedictory ceremony at Kala Kendra

In the evening, dances were performed by the students and teachers showcasing the different cultures and dance forms of India. They also got to sample dances from Goa presented by the Goa Vidyaprasharak Mandal students.

The final day of the event took the participants to the Kala Kendra in Panjim for the valedictory ceremony. A photography exhibition on biodiversity of of Goa was organised by GVM. The valedictory session was conducted with Dr. Shailandra Kumar from SAARC Coastal Zone Management as the chief guest, Dr. Jaishree Sharma, Professor, DESM, NCERT, Dr. Shailaja Ravindranath, Regional Director, CEE South, Shri Mahesh Shetye, President of GVMs general body and Mr. Bhaskar Khabdeparkar, Chairman, GVMs working committee and Dr. Deepak Goenkar,secretary of GVMs working committee.Students and teachers shared their experiences and learnings from the past few days. A student from Andhra Pradesh said that being from a conservative family, he had never been to a church but this event gave him an opportunity to do so and he now understands the importance of knowing about other cultures and religions. A teacher from Delhi said that she not only learnt environmental practices like gifting saplings on occassions but also how to make local sweets of Goa.

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