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Inclusion of environmental awareness as basic tenet of education in India for realization of sustainable practices

Author Affiliations

  • 1Acharya Narendra Dev College (University of Delhi), Kalkaji, New Delhi – 110019, India
  • 2Acharya Narendra Dev College (University of Delhi), Kalkaji, New Delhi – 110019, India
  • 3Acharya Narendra Dev College (University of Delhi), Kalkaji, New Delhi – 110019, India

Res. J.Educational Sci., Volume 9, Issue (1), Pages 1-8, August,1 (2021)


Worldwide Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) has been identified as a major hazard to all living beings covering the entire gamut from cities enveloped in smog to non-discernible polluted air inside homes and that are known to bring a negative influence on health and climate. World Health Organization (WHO) in its global report of 2019 attributed 7 million deaths to Air Pollution, both household (HAP) and AAP. In the scathing report while 3.8 million deaths were ascribed to inefficient fuel burning and dirty cook stoves (indoor exposure within households) the other half amounting to 4.2 million deaths was recognized to be directly influenced by exposure to AAP (outdoor). WHO’s report also indicated that close to 91% of the world’s total population resided in places where air quality exceeded its prescribed safe limits. It is interesting to note that large populations and high AAP was mainly concentrated in third world countries which had the misfortune to shoulder the burden of disease. As a major player amongst third world countries India has seen pollution from all sources growing by leaps and bounds while accounting for more than a quarter of global deaths. India’s rising pollution levels gets multiplied manifold since it is burdened with a large and ageing population. As per data released in 2018 by IQ Air, Air Visual and Greenpeace, India has the singular dishonor of having seven of the 10 most polluted cities in the world with Gurugram being the worst affected. Over 4 million Indians are also known to succumb prematurely to cardiovascular diseases, respiratory ailments and diabetes (as of 2016) with the sad observation that most of these occur amongst the 30–70 year old population. Unbridled rise in population has led to unplanned urbanization and industrialization which in turn have adversely affected the qualities of breathable air, potable water and resulted in contamination of food. For mitigation of the same and to alleviate related adverse health effects, there is an immediate need for targeted action. Since the chasm of environmental pollution is exceedingly large between developing and developed countries so any focused action to bridge the same needs to address the problem at the grass-root level. In view of this a need is felt to gauge the level of environmental education amongst children - the citizens of tomorrow. In the current investigation a survey on Environmental Awareness amongst the students pursuing primary, secondary and undergraduate levels of study respectively was carried out addressing basic issues associated with environment - awareness, conservation and sustainability. Today, when our future relies on sustainability; large majority of respondents were completely unaware of the term and could not relate to this concept with environment. Thus, it has become a need of the hour to start stressing on Environmental Education more than ever before and make it a crucial part of our curriculums at both schools and colleges.


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