Hand in Hand for a Greener City - Project GreenHands Chennai Schools Campaign 2007/2008

Impressed by the successful concept of Project GreenHands’ campaigns, Standard Chartered Bank and Scope International have chosen Isha Foundation’s environmental outreach initiative as a partner to put their corporate responsibility into action. Over the past few months, volunteers of Project GreenHands, Standard Chartered and Scope International teamed up to conduct a comprehensive campaign across Chennai. With much enthusiasm for the cause, they spent a lot of time and effort to realize the objective of planting over 20,000 saplings and creating public awareness about the imperative of planting trees to protect and restore our environment.

The well structured campaign, sponsored by Standard Chartered and Scope International, altogether involved as many as 40,000 students, mainly from 4th to 9th Standard, from 70 schools all over the city. The conducting volunteers gave awareness talks in school assemblies, distributed leaflets to the students which carried the message of tree planting, along with instructions on locating a suitable site, planting the sapling and caring for it. Using the snowball approach to reach the general public, the students were also asked to take the leaflet to at least 10 people in their personal environment, including their parents, neighbors or relatives, make them read the leaflet and then get their signatures. Those who were willing and in a position to plant and take care for a sapling, were asked to register their names on a tear-away slip attached to the leaflet.

This way, the students spread the word to over 100,000 people, and a total of 20,170 saplings were distributed and planted with their help.

The concerted action concluded with a Closing Function on 11 March 2008 presented by coordinators of Isha Foundation, with Mr. Neeraj Swaroop, Regional CEO for India & South Asia of Standard Chartered Bank and Mr. Edwin Nevis, Group Head – Global Shared Services, of Scope International Ltd as the chief guests of the evening. The event was an opportunity to thank the sponsors and the volunteers, school teachers and of course the students who made this campaign a great success. When schools that had made special efforts and achievements were particularly acknowledged by the organizers, the delegated students received their trophies and certificates with a proud smile.

Above all, this campaign proved that a great deal can be achieved when knowhow (Project GreenHands), financial resources (Standard Chartered and Scope) and hands (the students) join with enthusiasm for a common cause.

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