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Building a Brighter Future

Building a Brighter Future

On the 26th of November 2021, the students of Hiranandani Foundation School International had the opportunity to interact with Adv. Afroz Shah and Madam Hege Ronning. The webinar was something all the students were looking forward to, being the first offline event since the pandemic and it exceeded everyone’s expectation. The guests were welcomed with an echo of applause alongside a melodious song, known as the beat plastic pollution anthem introduced to us by our very own Adv. Afroz Shah.

Adv. Afroz Shah, as explained by the comperes, is a lawyer by profession and the leader of multiple groups concerning ‘Human- ocean’ and ‘Human-animal’ conflicts along with the ‘Beat plastic pollution' movement. He believes in the Gandhian Philosophy to protect Mother Nature by love and collaboration. Afroz Shah has worked tirelessly alongside his volunteers to bring our world back to its former glory, for which he has received several accolades. The second chief guest was Madam Hege Ronning, the senior advisor, ministry of local government and modernization of Norway. She and her children were inspired by Adv. Afroz Shah in terms of his beach clean ups and other endeavours, and decided to return to India to volunteer with him.

Through his webinar Adv. Afroz Shah described the worsening situation of India, especially Mumbai, in terms of water pollution and its consequences. He spoke about various places in Mumbai that he went to as a child that had now changed for the worse over the years. An example is Powai Lake, a lake once full of people swimming, now abandoned and left to survive. He shed some more light on the deteriorating state of nature and its species with various anecdotes, explaining to the students how important it is, now, to take matters into our own hands and fix what we have broken.

His seminar helped everyone present to understand the gravity of the situation, making the students eager to know how they can contribute to make India, and in turn the earth, great again, leading into the interactive session with Adv. Afroz Shah. The plethora of questions made him believe that the students of HFS International have the will and capability to make a difference.

The second speaker of the evening, Madam Hege Ronning, gave the students an insight on the strict waste distribution strategy of Norway. In addition, she spoke about her experience living in India and working with Adv. Afroz Shah and her children in several beach clean ups. The Principal of the School, Mrs. Kalyani Patnaik, and Madam Hege Ronning even pondered the idea of an exchange program with Norway focused on waste distribution and pollution.

The students of HFS International took a pledge to ‘Refuse plastic, Reuse plastic, Reduce plastic and Recycle plastic, bringing the event to a close. Overall the seminar was an eye-opener for all the students and motivated everyone to take the first step in achieving a sustainable environment and circular economy.
-Riya Singh


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