Third run of Science Express to raise awareness about biodiversity
An advertising campaign is to be launched to popularise the Science Express, an innovative exhibition on wheels. This train aims to raise awareness amongst masses in general and youth in particular about the exceptional biodiversity of India. It is a flagship venture of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Science and Technology and Indian Railways and was jointly flagged off by the respective ministers today from Safdarjung Railway Station.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri Javadekar, Minister for MoEF & CC said in order to evince interest amongst the people, an advertising campaign would be initiated so as to sensitize and educate the masses on the nuances of the rich biodiversity of the country. In order to take the issue associated with biodiversity forward, society needed to base its foundation on the rationale of scientific temper. It was important in the backdrop of India comprising 2.5% of land mass on earth, 17% of world population and yet being home to 8% of world biodiversity. Terming the Science Express as no ordinary train, Shri Javadekar said that it is a journey of learning, spreading the message of Bio diversity conservation and telling people that even in these modern times, we still have to depend on bio diversity. The train covering a span of 194 days at 57 locations is expected to benefit 30 lakh students.
Highlighting the importance of the initiative, the Minister mentioned that the train was in fact the brand ambassador of the COP 11. It showcased the rich biodiversity of India to delegates from over 190 countries. For this the train was stationed at Secunderabad in October 2012 to facilitate visit of delegates to the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity. Indeed, there were quite a few records and milestones that we believe this train has achieved. It was perhaps the world’s most visited train exhibition. Within India, it had gone to the highest rail track possible for broad gauge, and also covered some extreme locations in the north, south, east and west.
The present run of the train is in the 3rd Phase. In this phase, the train is envisaged to cover 57 locations on Broad Gauge network of Indian Railways across the entire length & breadth of the country. Of the 16 coaches of the Science Express- Biodiversity Special, 8 are solely dedicated to showcasing the myriad biodiversity spread across all the bio-geographical zones of India through a variety of interactive exhibits, short films & videos that are shown on Plasma & LED TV screens, large format displays, kiosks and back lit panels. The remaining coaches have interesting & informative exhibits on Climate Changes, Energy and Water conservation and other topical issues.
The current decade (2011-2020) has been declared as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and United Nations Decade for Deserts and Fight against Desertification. The 'Science Express – Biodiversity Special', therefore, primarily addresses the theme 'biodiversity'. The state-of the- art exhibition aboard SEBS aims to create wide-spread awareness on the unique biodiversity of India, Climate Change, Water, Energy Conservation and related issues among various sections of the society, especially students.
Since its launch in 2012, the Science Express Biodiversity Special train has covered 114 stations and travelled across more than 37000 kms in the first two phases. Phase-I of the SEBS was launched on World Environment Day (5 June, 2012) from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi. Phase-II of the SEBS was launched on April 9, 2013 from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi. It covered 62 locations and over 22 lakh people, including 5 lakh students and 29000 teachers from 6005 schools, enjoyed learning in a fun filled way.
The present phase would culminate on 4th February, 2015 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat after covering 57 locations whereby the SEBS train would have covered most of the major stations across the country.