By Fr Thamacin Arulappan, S.J.

Earth Summit at St. Xavier’s School, Durgapur was a beginning to reflect on, to reason out, and respond to various issues related to ecology and environment, the content of the Earth Summit in Durgapur inspired by the Global Earth Summit I & II, organized by St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
The Summit at Durgapur was a golden jubilee programme, jointly organized by Divisional Forest Office, Durgapur and St. Xavier’s School Nature Club.
Jesuit Fr Thamacin Arulappan, the convener of the Summit and Kumar Vimal, Divisional Forest Officer, Bishnupur Forest Division, were the guiding persons to initiate this summit.
The inauguration of the earth summit by Vimal was held on June 18, after which about 25 plant saplings were planted in the campus of St. Xavier’s.
On June 23, inter-school competitions such as quiz, essay writing, poem writing and sit & draw on the ecological themes were held in the school. Some 80 students from 11 schools of Durgapur participated in the events. There was a debate on July 2, on the theme: Is Nuclear Energy a boon or a bane?
A special sympo-sium on various issues of ecology was held on July 4, with three scholars. Jesuit Father. John Britto from Centre for Molecular Systematics of St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, made a challenging presentation on climate change. Fr Xavier Savarimuthu, department head of environmental Studies at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, made a presentation on ground water sustainability with a special emphasis on Arsenic contamination.
A golden jubilee journal of St. Xavier’s School, Durgapur, edited by Fr Thamacin Arulappan was released at the end of the program.