Prakriti- Nature & Sustainability Club
"A club with an overarching goal to serve as a knowledge and mindset primer to the managers who will have to deal with sustainability, either as a competitive strategy or as a regulatory requirement in their jobs."
The 'Prakriti-Nature Club', now known as the 'Prakriti-Nature & Sustainability Club', has been a significant group since its inception. The club's activities were first mentioned in the students’ yearbooks collections from 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Back then, it was known as the 'Prakriti- Nature Club’. As an article published in the alumnus, in October 2004 recalls, "the club aimed to connect students with the natural world beyond the confines of our campus, offering them a much-needed respite from their academic curriculum."
Additionally, the club conducted nature walks on campus to explore and appreciate the diverse flora. Aditya Paranjpe, a club member, highlighted (as published in the ‘Alumnus’ in October 2004) the significance of these walks, stating that they revealed a plethora of flora that was previously unknown to them.
The same publication also mentioned interesting initiatives undertaken by club members in the past, "they labelled different plants on campus according to their respective genus." Furthermore, as part of an energy audit programme (another initiative of the club), the club printed stickers promoting water and electricity conservation. Surprise checks were conducted to ensure compliance, and the names of those who failed to conserve were later displayed on the notice board.
Overall, the club's activities not only provided educational and recreational opportunities but also fostered a sense of environmental responsibility among students and community members.
In its initial years of existence, the club made significant strides in its mission to inspire students to appreciate the beauty of nature and work towards preserving the environment (Annual Report (AR) of IIMA, 2004-05, IIMA Archives). The club actively engaged with NGOs and government bodies in Ahmedabad to further these goals. Notably, the club introduced "The Green Diary," a platform for students and others to share their experiences and experiments with nature.
By 2005-06, the club began distributing potted plants to students and organizing informative talks, including one on "snakes and bird watching." In the same year, Professor Errol D'Souza and Professor Jagdeep Chokkar hosted a talk on mountaineering and nature photography which was very well attended.
In a fascinating turn of events in 2007, the club participated in the 'Gidh Bachao Andolan' to raise awareness about the threats faced by vultures in the annual kite flying festival, during Uttarayan. This initiative became a regular activity during Uttarayan, in later years. Additionally, the club maintained frequent collaborations with NGOs and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for various projects, such as 'slum development,' 'city beautification,' and other 'awareness campaigns' (AR, 2007-08, IIMA Archives). Furthermore, the club organized 'nature camps' and 'tree plantation drives' on a regular basis. Through its dedication and diverse range of activities, the club successfully fostered a deep appreciation for nature among students and actively contributed to the betterment of the environment.
In the later years, around 2009-10, the group initiated various campaigns such as 'reduce mess food wastage' and organized events like 'nature photography with photography club,' 'plantation drive on the campus,' 'inter-dorm energy saving competition,' and 'International Vulture Day celebration,' among others. The annual report of 2009-10 intriguingly stated, "Prakriti is working for a greater cause. It is helping to build a nation where decisions are taken by people who have a holistic understanding of each and every action they take."
Furthermore, the group continued to arrange captivating trips to Nalsarovar lake for bird watching and photography sessions. The annual report of 2011-12 highlighted the club's first-ever 'Green Run' held on campus, which garnered significant participation from the community. Additionally, the club conducted various campaigns to raise awareness about 'nature conservation.' The 'Nature walk' organized by the group attracted enthusiastic participation from students, community members, and exchange students alike. See the insightful figure below for more information on the club's 'Nature Walk.'
In the following years, the club collaborated with various NGOs such as Jivdaya Charitable Trust to organize awareness programs on ‘vulture conservation’ and provide ‘veterinary ambulance facilities’ on campus. The students also volunteered for helping Asha Foundation to help build a world-class veterinary hospital in Ahmedabad. Additionally, in association with Goonj, the club initiated the 'Vastra Samman' campaign and organized the ‘joy of giving week,’ which received a great response and collected around 100 kg of clothes and monetary contributions.
As time went on, the club expanded its support to the ‘Swach Bharat campaign’ and engaged in other regular activities such as bird watching walks, cloth collection drives, and e-waste collection drives. One of their unique campaigns, called ‘Energy Wars,’ gained popularity as it declared the dorm with the least energy consumption as the winner (AR, 2015-16, IIMA Archives).
Eventually, the club transformed into the ‘nature and sustainability club’ (AR, 2016-17, IIMA Archives), and continued to organize visits to bird sanctuaries, ‘cloth collection drives,’ the ‘Wimwian green quiz,’ ‘sapling drives,’ and the competitive & healthy ‘Dorm Energy Wars.’ These activities remained popular and well-received by the community.
In 2020, the club initiated a groundbreaking event called 'Sustain', a case study competition that pushes participants to develop innovative solutions to contemporary issues, while considering both business interests and environmental conservation. This competition marked a significant milestone for TRBS 2020, as it was the first of its kind.
60th Annual Report (published in 2021-22), highlighted the Prakriti's efforts, and stated, "throughout the last year, it aimed to achieve its goals through a variety of engaging events like article writing and quiz competitions besides sapling distribution drives. The Club was successful in conducting Sustain, a case study competition that challenges participants to arrive at creative solutions to modern problems, balancing business interests and environmental conservation, during TRBS 2021. It saw 3500+ students participate from across the country. The Club was active in disseminating relevant knowledge and best practices by publishing newsletters and social media content throughout the year. It also conducted its flagship Dorm Energy wars competition on the campus, which primarily inculcated a sense of saving energy in a playful way".
Overall, Prakriti's dedication to the nature & sustainability, and its commitment to engaging students in meaningful activities have positioned it as an important club on campus in shaping the managers of tomorrow. Check out some recent and exciting activities organized by Prakriti (sourced from Instagram handle of Prakriti).
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