Conference of Schools 2023
On 29th April 2023, the Conference of Schools (COS) 2023 brought together 50+ students from 26 schools from Kolkata and Sundarbans to voice their concerns, ideas and solutions on climate change mitigation and adaptation to decision-makers of the city. COS 2023 offered once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young Kolkata to engage with the matters of the city and to discover the power in their hands to change its future by developing critical thinking, writing and research, team work, problem-solving, solution-designing and public speaking skills on climate change and local issues.
The theme was “Mitigation and Adaptation Solutions Proposed by Youth to Climate Change Challenges in Kolkata and Sundarbans.” Specific topics were Urban Greenery, Blue Infrastructure (waterbodies, lake systems, wetlands and rivers), Traffic Congestion, Air Pollution, Waste (Upcycling, Recycling, Management, Segregation), Sustainable Mobility (Electric Vehicles, Non Motorised Transport), Survival of Sundarbans, and Natural Disasters.
The Conference was inaugurated by Guest of Honour Consul-General Manfred Auster, German Consulate General Kolkata. In the morning session, school delegations presented their research on their chosen topic which they worked on during the pre-conference preparation period of more than three weeks. They received feedback and evaluation from mentors such as Anshuman Das of Welthungerhilfe, Ajay Mittal of EARTHDAY.ORG, Nobina Gupta, Aahiree Banerjee, Abhipsa Ghose of Disappearing Dialogues, Dr. Bhargab Maitra and Dr. Saptarshi Sen of IIT Kharagpur, Suparna Dutta of SwitchON Foundation, Kankana Das of LIFE, Lata Bhatia of Kolkata Zero Waste Bazaar, Sujata Chatterjee of Twirl.store, Priyank Patel of Livolt, Satanjib Gupta of Kolkata Cycle Samaj, Manohar Bethapudi of Motovolt, Dr. Niranjan Jaladas of Netaji Nagar College for Women, Dr.Mourani Sinha of Techno India University and Susmita Guha of Save the Children.
In the afternoon, the school delegations who worked on the same topic brainstormed together to outline the best practices and solutions to tackle climate change identified through their research under the guidance of mentors. The day concluded with the synthesised presentations being delivered to key government stakeholders such as Shri Rajanvir Singh Kapoor (IAS), MD WBTC, Shri Kaliyamurthi Balamurugan, Chief Environment Officer, Dept. of Environment, GoWB, Shri Atul Prakash, Principal Director, RTI, IA & AD, Govt. of India, Kolkata, Col. Indrajit Roy, General Manager, New Town Business Club, Shri Santanu Patra, Superintending Engineer, C-III, R&B Sector, KMDA, Shri Ujjal Bose, Sr. Audit Officer, RTI, IA & AD, Govt. of India, Kolkata along with industry experts such as Mrs. Manoshi Roy Chowdhury, Co-Chairperson, Techno India Group, Mr. Pradip Chopra, Chairman, PS Group, Mr. Nandan Mall, Founder and CMD, HulladekRecycling Pvt. Ltd.
The top three school delegations were Techno India Group Public School, Garia (winner), Shri Shikshayatan School (1st Runner Up) and Mahadevi Birla World Academy (2nd Runner Up).
COS 2023 was made possible by the following –
Organising Partners: Y-East, Centre for Contemporary Communication, SwitchON Foundation, EARTHDAY.ORG, Y-Ed, Green Bengal Innovation Network and Make Calcutta Relevant Again
Education partner: Techno India Group
Venue Partner: Offbeat CCU
Food Partners: Vegan Daily, Millets & More
Gift Partners: Twirl.store, The Better Earthlings
Sponsors: iLEAD, Hulladek Recycling Pvt. Ltd.