Fuel conservation, biomass energy, ecosystem, pollution, biodegradable waste, among others were BIG words. Once, only used by ministries and government departments, in files and flyers, until the last two decades. But, suddenly the last decade saw them incessantly knocking the doors of our education system, entering our classrooms, stepping into our homes and thus touching our lives at every step, directly or indirectly. Despite taking long strides in formulation of eco-friendly policies, spending millions in dissemination of information and creating awareness, we have hardly achieved far reaching results.

The latest from the Ministry of Power, through Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), is that they have undertaken a number of energy efficiency initiatives in areas of household lighting, commercial buildings, standards and labeling of appliances across the country. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (I/C) for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Coal and Mines, Govt. of India launched the Energy Efficient Buildings programme in a function jointly organized by FICCI and EESL under which they will invest Rs 1,000 crore by 2020 under buildings programme. The idea is to turn all government buildings into green buildings on war footing by installing solar roof-top panels in these buildings.

On household front, the state electricity boards distributed free LED bulbs to the consumers and are even selling these LED bulbs and tubes on subsidized rates to encourage green initiative. Various initiatives are being taken to introduce and implement schemes at household levels as well.

But then, the problem therein lies with our implementers. Even though sound steps are taken regularly but follow up is always missing. What we see is that in these cases the steps go down, as in the trickling effect; policies are formed at the top level at various departments, boards, colleges and school clubs and then the masses are involved. But, the results are not in correlation with the efforts put in. We should instead have a reverse triangle effect, such that the masses and children are directly involved to achieve one goal.

In recent years, we have seen formation of Eco-Clubs in all schools and children participating in rallies and walks, spreading the message of fuel conservation, car pool and saving energy.

But to what effect?

Rather than making it an annual affair with two or three rallies in a year, these Clubs should be given charge of adopting areas close to their homes and localities to serve the cause. When the grass root is directly involved, the parents are therefore involved as the responsibility is given to their kids. The exchange of ideas, deliberations and actions directly reach the households’ drawing rooms. The parents are then forced to listen to their children and help them in this important cause.

Suddenly with diminishing resources on hand and rising prices, we have seen miniscule steps taken by people, when it comes to saving energy — be it switching off lights, organizing car pools, using mass communication for transport — they do their bit for saving fuel.

Every small step taken towards fuel conservation will go a long way in helping the cause. But then, in the age and decade we are living in, these small steps will definitely help in making formidable changes. The need of the hour is to not just hold seminars and rallies, but to step into homes through children’s voices and efforts.

They say when you educate a man, you educate one person, but when you educate a woman you educate a generation. And when children educate, exchange and share ideas with their mothers there is bound to be an emphatic solution to our problem of saving fuel at every step.

It is time to hand over the baton in the hands of children. Guide them, nurture them, groom them too as they are our future. Every small step taken towards fuel conservation, especially by children will light the torch that will illuminate the world in years to come.

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