The 4th newsletter

The planting was successfully carried out over a period of two days, where the students from LMB, LMG and MHS planted trees and shrubs ranging from the ‘Neem‘ which is known for its medicinal value to the ‘Togore‘ a white star shaped flower bearing shrub, which has a poisionous sap.

Another planting session will be held, this weekend, the 11th and 12th of July. Where we expect the boys from BHS and the girls from LH to join us.

A few photographs of this weekend has been posted to the gallery.

The management team.

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The 3rd newsletter

The meeting as planned was successfully carried out on Friday, 30th of June. Those present for this meeting were – Bonanni Kakkar, Pradeep Kakkar, Aditi Roy Ghatak, Jane Forsterling and the representatives of MHS, LMG and LMB. The meeting unlike previous meetings was not held in the park, due to bad weather. Instead it was held at the Park Nursing Home, thanks to the kind gesture of letting us have a room there by Mr. S. Chaterjee, a renowned neurosurgeon, who also agreed on helping us with our project.

We recently got to know that due to an accident the main entrance of the park was brought down, on the 25th of June. A truck carrying potatoes to the Iskon building, opposite the park, lost control at night around 1:30 a.m. and crashed into the wall. This entrance was very generously agreed to be rebuilt by the KMC.

Moving on, the progress on the following tasks handed out the respective schools are as follows:-

  • The design for the dustbin was brought in by LMG, its a design where the initial setting up cost and maintenance will be low, also it was agreed that all the materials used in making the dustbins will the environment-friendly ones. A prototype shall be prepared by LMG by the 4th of July.

  • The water purity test was done by the students of MHS, The details they found out were:-

  1. The water is odourless.
  2. Slightly acidic.
  3. PH level – 6
  4. Zooplankton named ‘Daphnia’ present.
  5. Nitrate content- Yes.
  6. Traces of lead content present.

Another water purification test will be done by LMB by the 4th of July, as a verification of this test.

  • With respect to community involvement, in the last minutes meeting LMB and Pradeep had taken over the responsibility of looking into the matter. The boys from LMB spoke to the residents of the Kajaria House (the building opposite the park) and Centauri nursing home, both of them mostly complained about not having a proper jogging track and the residents of the park. Boys faced a problem approaching those of the Mona Lisa building, so that has still been left undone. Where as Pradeep spoke to a market research agency – Mr. Amit Roy, of ORG also a founder member of PUBLIC agreed on getting a survey of the area done by the 7th of July.

  • The designs for the toilets had been brought in by MHS, and approximately each toilet would be costing around 8.5 thousand, there will be four toilets set up in the park, and the nature club of MHS agreed on covering the costs for the toilet. Further details about the toilet will be brought in by the 4th of July by MHS.

Also, Mr. Debasish Chakravarthi of the KMC, the person incharge of all parks in Kolkata, agreed on breaking down the cemented embankment, one at a time, In order to help us attract bird life in the park.

This being the best season for plantation, another planting session shall be held on the 4th of July at 3 p.m. , hope to see you’ll there.

The management team.

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The 2nd Newsletter

The following were present:
LMB, LMG, Modern, Aditi Roy Ghatak, Bonani Kakkar, Pradeep Kakkar
St James absent because of exams.
The following were the discussions and decisions, keeping in mind the agreement in the first meeting that the Victoria dream would be realised by working on
  • landscaping,
  • water / sanitation,
  • community involvement and
  • monitoring/supervision of what’s happening in the Park.
1. Modern High reported that a handpump for making the pond water easily accessible could be put in. In addition, a couple of toilets and stalls for washing could be included. It was agreed that MH would provide preliminary designs and costs for these by June 26.Sponsorship may not be needed, thanks to MH.
2. LMB reported that the guy who was to help with landscaping has not been available. It was agreed that Pradeep will try and locate someone
3. LMG reported that they had thought of a few items for monitoring and a complete checklist would be ready by June 22. They would circulate this to all by email. Also, LMG would come up with a design for a waste bag / basket by June 26.
4. With respect to increasing community involvement, it was decided that two steps would be taken. First, LMB would talk to British Council, Centauri Clinic, Larsen & Tubro, and residents of Mona Lisa. The purpose would be to get their reactions to getting involved with and providing ideas for improving the Park. The second step would be to see if we coould get a market research agency to profile the community around the Park. Pradeep would talk to an agency.Both by June 30.
5. It was agreed that all three schools would draw water samples and get the help of their respective Chemistry departments to test the water. That way we’ll have three independent opinions on how bad it really is! By June 30.
6. All design (be it waste bag, toilet and wash stalls) would keep in mind that we want the Park to be as natural as possible, that we don’t want to use plastic bags, that we want low impact facilities so that we don’t increase resource consumption or create waste.
7. Don Bosco is interested in joining. Birla School needs to be included – they’re so close!
8. Thanks to Modern High we now have an email id – vision.victoria@gmail.com. Is it LMB who’s going to do a website or do we start with a blog?
9. Next meeting on June 30, 2009, at 4.30 pm

The Management Team

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The 1st Newsletter

Sorry for the delay in sending the e-mail. This being the first e-mail, let me tell you a little about this project which was undertaken by four schools – La Martiniere for Boys, La Martiniere for Girls, St. James’ School and Modern High School, on the 5th of June, 2009, the world environment day, we took an initiative to clear and renovate a park which was not being used properly for an extensive period of time, the boys and girls collectively planted a total of 68 plants on that day and also cleaned the park themselves to quite a great extent. From each school two students decided to be a part of the management team and we, the management team, will regularly update you about the being of this park.

The visions we, the management team have for the park are as follows:-

  • To make the park a cleaner and a greener place.

  • To make the park a “Plastic-Free Zone”.

  • To put in place more dustbins in place.

  • To install taps for drinking water.

  • To put in place benches for those who visit the park.

  • To construct a jogging track.

  • To introduce fishes and tadpoles into the pond.

  • To tell residents of the park about our project and hope for maximum co-operation possible.

  • A water purification system. (using the pond as a source of water)

  • To change the concrete embankment into a sloping one. (to attract birds)

  • Setting up of toilets.

Well, moving on to the progress report. On the World Environment Day itself, the students from each school had cleared a lot of garbage from the park, the embankments which were very dirty was found being used, for resting purposes by visitors, on a visit to the park by one of the management team members. And also, the residents of the park greatly co-operated with our endeavour. On speaking to them, we found out that they watered the plants when the KMC workers didn’t show up. And they all cleared the area of dead leaves every once in a while for the purpose of keeping the area clean, and beautiful. Also, they dint let any anti-social activities being carried out in the park, no matter what time of the day it was. As far as getting the landscaping is concerned, we have contacted a architect and we’ll soon get the reports of what can be done. Research

The management team.

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