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| Last Updated:14/11/2018

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India launches massive awareness drive on climate change by flagging off unique train

NEW DELHI: With countries across the globe gearing up for the crucial Paris climate summit, India on Thursday launched a massive awareness drive on the issue by flagging off a 'climate change special' science express train.

The 16-coach train will travel across the country in next seven months and make people aware of the implications of global warming and the measures which may be taken at both local and national level to tackle the common threat of climate change.

Minutes before flagging off this unique train, India's environment and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar termed this as the "world's first mass education programme on wheels" that will during its journey cover about 19,500 km and halt at 64 locations, spread over 20 states.

It will be open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm.

The train was flagged off jointly by Javadekar, railway minister Suresh Prabhu and science & technology minister Harsh Vardhan here at Safdarjung railway station. After being in Delhi for three days, the train will move to Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan on October 18.

"The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard SECCS aims to create awareness among various sections of the society, especially students, about various issues & challenges associated with Climate Change and how it can be combated through mitigation and adaptation", said an official statement of the ministry of science.

Before concluding its journey at Gandhinagar, Gujarat on May 4 next year, the train will halt at Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Patiala, Haridwar, Agra Cantt, Allahabad, Basti, Bilaspur, Vishakhapatnam, Guntur, Rameswaram, Valsad, Anand, Patan, Sabarmati and Junagadh among other cities\towns.

Of the 16 coaches of SECCS, exhibition in eight coaches will be exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses.

A discussion centre-cum-training facility is also provided in a coach for orientation of teachers. At each halt of the SECCS, activities are planned in advance to engage visitors across different age groups to reinforce various messages that the train conveys.

The broad theme covered in each coach of the science express will be as follows:

Coach 1 - Understanding Climate Change: The physical science of climate system, climate change- its causes & history- and industrial revolution & concept that all systems are connected.

Coach 2 - Impact of Climate Change: Introduction to concept of ecosystem services, Climate Change impacts on selected ecosystems and sectors and also how to reduce it.

Coach 3 - Adaptation-concepts: Concepts of adaptation and example form day to day life, adaptation strategies and stories from field.

Coach 4 - Adaptation-India's action: Various national, state and local level action and adaptation programmes and their links with national strategies and international actions.

Coach 5 - Mitigation-concepts: Concept and definition with examples from everyday life, emphasis on restoring balance, enhancing sinks (carbon stores) and reducing emission through renewable energy (RE) technologies.

Coach 6 - Mitigation- India's action: Various national, state and local level action and adaptation programme implemented by India and how those are linked with national strategies and international actions. Low carbon strategies, ambitious goal to increase RE.

Coach 7 - International negotiation on Climate Change: Introduction to UNFCCC, IPCC and internationally agreed action & targets. Explaining concept of equity and common but differential responsibility, Polluter pays, Kyoto protocol and other key outcomes of major COP, etc. Introduction to Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC).

Coach 8 - Handprint: What can one do at school, on roads, at home and in offices and focus on concept of lifestyle choices?

The rest of the rake will have exhibits on themes like Wildlife and Nature Conservation work being carried out by different research institutions across India with focus on Tigers, Turtles, Coral Reefs, Amphibians, etc. besides development in field of Biotechnology, Innovations in S&T, Science Education, Schemes of DST, Careers in S&T, and so on.

While a Kids Zone has been created in a coach to indulge young ones them in fun-filled activities, games and puzzles in science, mathematics and environment, the popular Joy of Science (JOS) Hands-on Lab is once again put up in another coach where students are encouraged to perform experiments & activities to understand concepts in environment, science and mathematics in an interesting manner.

A Discussion centre-cum-training facility is also provided in a coach for orientation of teachers.

At each halt of SECCS, activities are planned in advance to engage visitors across different age groups to reinforce various messages that the train conveys.

An exciting and much sought-after Outreach Programme will also be conducted in local schools/institutions along with interesting activities on the railway platforms where it is parked. In addition, informative & appealing take-away material is made available for wider distribution amongst schools and other visitors.