INDIA: 20 youth to launch environmental research projects
Don Bosco Youth Services hosts The Young Green Researchers Conference to launch environmental research projects
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Youth Services in Mumbai, India, hosted The Young Green Researchers Conference to culminate the month-long Season of Creation initiatives facilitated by the Salesian Youth Movement. The conference encouraged 20 youth to launch small environmental research projects. Dr. Anandi Subramanian, the former principal advisor for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for the government of India, was the chief guest at the conference and focused on the basics of conducting research.
During the conference, Sister Melissa D’Souza, a resource person for the conference, spoke about the negative influence of plastics and packaging on the environment. Sr. D’Souza also gave practical examples of what can be done to resolve this crisis. Shridhar Balakrishnan, who has experience in the production of vehicles and industrial engineering, educated youth about electric vehicles and the challenges.
The majority of the conference was youth-led group discussion about what research projects they would choose. One group will study milk container recycling and create suggestions for a viable substitute. A second group will do a cost benefit analysis on using innovative containers as a replacement for single use plastic packaging. A third group will focus on new ways to promote waste segregation. Finally, a fourth group will study the presence of microplastics in water through testing and survey.
Each group had a Salesian or a resource person as a mentor. Each group leader gave a presentation, which included the project proposal, timeline, methodology, funding options and the impact it will make in society.
The conference finished with Father Savio Silveira, the provincial of Mumbai Province, who thanked the resource people and highlighted the enthusiasm he saw in the young people to carry forward the projects they had chosen.
“In India and in Salesian programs around the globe, green initiatives are taking a priority in educational and research settings,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This has been driven by the Pope Francis’ 2020 Laudato Si, which underlined the importance of education and training that will help youth foster environmental responsibility. These youth have launched important research projects to help their communities and beyond.”
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
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Salesian Missions – India
World Bank – India