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A step towards saving ecology

Wednesday, March 07, 2012
By Caroline Declas

Gujarati Kelavani Mandal’s Amulakh Amichand B.V Vidyalaya High School, Matunga inaugurated a solar (PV Cell) Power System recently to conserve energy, creating a benchmark for other schools in the city. Within the next few months this school will run completely on solar power only.

This sixty-years-old school has always been innovative. It is one of the only multipurpose schools in Mumbai (combining technical art and commerce) and has received several eminent visits from people like the former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Morarji Desai, V.P Naik & Homi Talyar Khan - Governor of Maharashtra among others. It offers various activities and optional subjects and  64 hobbies to the 600 students, from kindergarten to S.S.C. who study in the school. Among the activities, students can either choose pottery, drawing, home sciences, creativity or music with traditional and modern instruments as well as a marching band, dance, sports such as basketball, volley ball, cricket.

It is a real challenge to supply solar energy to a school that has 60 classrooms spread along three floors. There is also a range of facilities and rooms that need energy as well such as a library with thousands of books, three computer labs with 16 computers as well as the equipment for teachers, the gym and yoga room.
But it was the will and determination to go green that led to impressive results. “For the last ten years we had 100 per cent results in the school. Our policy is not to let the child fail and promote each and every student,” said the head mistress, Uma Chaudhary. It is not surprising that the President and trustee, Pravinbhai Shah and his team, mainly ex-students, wanted to provide their students with the best of education and modern facilities, that launched this brand new solar panel project.

According to Hasmukh Shah, H.N secretary, “The President introduced a lot of new things in the school and is a visionary.”  This time the school team felt the need to be part of the green revolution that has become socially important. So, they thought of shifting to solar energy. With the help of Dinesh Shah himself, a Rotarian and member of the management committee, they achieved this through a long process spanning two years with the German Rotary Club of Nuremberg contributing to the Rs.24 lakh project, with the support of Rotary Club of Mumbai, Sion and Rotary Club of Mumbai, Uptown, India contributing for 25 per cent. Private companies also contributed to the project as well. Apart from that, the team said they did not face any difficulty during the process – from the installation to the launch. All the material has been donated by the Solar World AG-Bonn as well as the shipment that took a two week journey for a cost of Rs.13 lakh.

“The German Rotary Club, as well as the Solar World Ag-Bonn were convinced by our presentation and the aim of the project which is related to protection of environment and fight against global warming,” said Dinesh Shah.

As there is a lot of concern about ecology, the school intends to be an example for other schools and show them that this project can be inculcated in their schools too. Being faithful to its motto ‘Youth shall reshape the World’, the school also decided that a course about cleaning and safety of environment will be incorporated to the curriculum.

As of now the Solar (PV Cell) Electricity Generation System of 10.5kw will be covering 10 to 15 per cent of the school’s energy requirements. But as it is not just a project to save money but also to step to preserve ecology, the school intends to extend the solar panels to make it cover the total energy needs of the school.

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