“Catch the students when they are young and give training to them in sustainable values to solve the present ecological crisis”, stated Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, while inaugurating the Synod level training for the selected teachers from each Diocese at the synod centre, Chennai, from 3rd to 5th of May, 2017. In this era of globalization, the choices are infinite, leaving children confused not knowingly what to select. Values of an unsustainable world are more appealing. Most of the children want to enjoy life and they don’t bother about the depletion of the natural resources because of over-consumption. We recognise that what we do with God's creation around us will have a tremendous impact, for good or ill, on the lives of our grandchildren and on the generations of their children and grandchildren. Our attitude to God's creation at present will determine the state of the society that will be inherited later in the twenty-first century. Teachers should advise children to select life instead of death. Nature is not a material resource for human consumption. Human beings are a part of nature, Moderator added.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of CSI Synod, and Adv. Robert Bruce, Treasurer of CSI synod, addressed the gathering. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Hon. Director of CSI Synod, expressed sincere gratitude to USPG London for their support and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) for their collaboration.
Mr. G Balachandran, international Eco-trainer and motivator, inspired the teachers for the conduct of green School Programme in their schools. During the second day Dr. Gnasekharan, Professor of Madras Christian College, addressed the teachers on impacts of nurturing different types of plants on their campus. Mr. Varghese C. Thomas, Chief Sub-editor of Malayala Manorama Daily, shared his marvellous experiences in visiting the schools implementing ecological programmes. Ms. Ajanta and Ms. Aditya , experts from CSE, trained the teachers in Green Auditing. Rev. Asir Ebeneser (Director of CSI SEVA), Rev. Sunil Raj Philip (Director of CSI Synod Communications) and Rev. Cecil James Victor (Director of Synod Pastoral Concerns) offered felicitations and also talked about the activities of their respective departments.
Fifty-nine teachers from various diocese participated in the Masters Training Programme. All the presentations of the three days programme were inspiring to the teachers and gave them a new dimension. A few responses of the participants after the programme are given below:
“The training has inspired me and after going back to my school I will try to implement the knowledge which I have acquired here and try to make my school be green” (Mrs Margart Ancy – Karnataka Northern Diocese). "We have become master trainers in the green school programme and will take steps to implement the green school programme in all the schools in our Diocese. Every month we will visit the schools and monitor it” (Mr Moses Packiaraj – Madurai Ramnad Diocese). “The training was very useful to me. We have learnt to motivate the teachers, children and society. We will teach others the importance of biodiversity All the speakers gave us a lot of ideas and we have been inspired by their talk”.(Mrs M Grace Deevena – Krishna Godavari Diocese). “I will all the eco programmes in my school and also start an Eco-club in our school”. (Mr Anil Dyva Kumar – Dornakal Diocese). “The training was really valuable and beneficial for me. Through the novel ideas, I can uplift my students to the level of missionaries of nature. Now I am confident to give training to other teachers and students” (Mrs. Gladys Ponbala – South Kerala Diocese) “I will arrange a training in GSP in our diocese, motivate students for planting fruit trees, initiate installing solar panels in our school and motivate students to avoid throw away plastics”. (Mr K P Justus Paul – Kanyakumari Diocese) “I will arrange training classes for primary and middle school teachers and for the high school teachers. I will conduct awareness programmers for the students to make my school a model green school”. (Mr. S Ebenezer – Thoothukudi Nazareth Diocese)
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad
Hon. Director, CSI Synod Department of Ecological concerns