Author : Ummu Ramees

Rana: Hi Saju, where were you? Not seen yesterday.
Saju: I was busy doing something meaningful. How was your celebration?
Rana: Don’t ask me. We really enjoyed it. The celebrity’s speech was very powerful. Moreover, she looked so charming. We all took selfies with her.
Saju: What did she say about the environment? I want to know that.
Rana: Nothing much. She just praised us for organising the event and inaugurated the function.
Saju: Then the usual planting of saplings, right?
Rana: Yes. The greatest part was the whole morning we didn’t have classes.
Saju: The saplings must have been planted in the same pits where they were planted last year.
Rana: Ya. The ones they planted last year all dried, right? But they made some new pits too because they got more plants this time.
Saju: So, the celebration is over. Now, back to the same routine. The plants will die normally within a few days, and who cares!
Rana: Ya, but having such days and celebrations is fun. At least we can be saved from those boring classes. You haven’t answered my question. Where were you yesterday? You missed a lot of fun. You see the selfies and videos we uploaded. We got a lot of likes. Had you been there…
Saju: I did not miss anything great. I was busy with my parents and neighbours celebrating the day differently. We planted many trees last year. Each one in our neighbourhood has to take care of one plant. That was the assignment given to us. We got time-to-time instructions on watering, fertilising and pruning of the plants. And the one who has taken the best care of the plants has been awarded this year.
Rana: Really? What was the award?
Saju: Bicycles.
Rana: Who is that lucky winner?
Saju: I and two others from our neighbourhood. You don’t know them.
And do you know who was our chief guest?
Rana: Some celebrity. A film star or sports star.
Saju: No, it was the grandfather of Babu from grade 5B, whom his classmates made fun of for wearing shabby dresses. His grandfather is in his 80s but still very healthy. He cultivates a lot of vegetables and sells them in our neighbourhood.
Rana: Oh really?
Saju: After listening to his speech, which was full of practical lessons on leading an environment-friendly life, I was happy that I decided not to come to our function, which was just a show-off.
Rana: He is not that educated, right? Then how can he give a good speech? You are exaggerating.
Saju: That is where you are mistaken. He spoke from his heart, out of his experience. He asked us to do only what he had been doing—no artificiality. People started crying after listening to him.
Rana: I want to visit Babu’s house and meet his grandfather.
Saju: Sure, I will take you to him. You can see how he takes care of the environment. Every day is an Environment Day for him.

Activity: After reading the conversation, elders can help children do the following activities.
1) Write five steps you will take to save the environment in your diary or journal.
2) Observe the growth of a tree and note down the changes after every three months until it becomes a full-grown tree.
3) Identify a person like Babu’s grandfather and interview him about his farmer experience.


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