After almost ten months of intense labour, planning and coordination, the remarkable journey of the ‘Schoolathon on Sustainability (SOS)’ competition 2023, a collaborative effort between Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) and Manav Rachna Educational Institutions (MREI) came to a successful close on 7 October 2023. This initiative was designed to inspire critical thinking and innovative sustainability solutions among the younger generation.
The planning for the competition had started in December 2022. After intense brainstorming and ideation between BSG and MREI, the overall structure and shape of the competition was designed.
Registrations were opened in May 2023 and witnessed enthusiastic participation from nearly 150 teams nationwide. Divided into two categories, ‘Young Phoenix’ (Grades VI-VIII) and ‘Young Lions’ (Grades IX-XII), the competition went through two rounds of selection by a distinguished jury of sustainability experts. After a rigorous evaluation, 24 outstanding teams reached the grand finale.
The SOS competition provided a unique platform for young minds to share their ideas, collaborate, and develop innovative solutions. The competition was not just about winning but fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among the participants. It aimed to instil a commitment to sustainability and encourage the younger generation to take action on global challenges.
In the end, 12 winning teams emerged, with each team receiving a cash prize of INR 50,000. This support was made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, including Froovella India – A part of DJ Group, Cremica Food Industries Ltd., and The White Teak Company.
The winning teams for SOS 2023 were:
|Winners for SOS 2023 - Young Phoenix Category (Grade 6 to 8)|
|S. No.||Category||Team Name||School Name||City||State|
|1||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: Planet||Planet Saviours||Graphite Higher Secondary School, Mandideep, Madhya Pradesh||Mandideep||Madhya Pradesh|
|2||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: People||Vigilantes||Manav Rachna International School, Charmwood, Haryana||Charmwood||Haryana|
|3||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: Planet||Techboys||Manav Rachna International School, Sector 14, Faridabad, Haryana||Faridabad||Haryana|
|4||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: Planet||Sahil||Sarvottam International School, Greater Noida West, Uttar Pradesh||Greater Noida||Uttar Pradesh|
|5||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: Planet||AGSC||Manav Rachna International School, Mohali, Punjab||Mohali||Punjab|
|6||Category: Young Phoenix | Theme: Planet||The Chosen Ones||Manav Rachna International School 21 C, Faridabad, Haryana||Faridabad||Punjab|
|Winners for SOS 2023 - Young Lion Category (Grade 9 to 12)|
|S. No.||Category||Team Name||School Name||City||State|
|1||Category: Young Lion | Theme: People||Aqua Warriors||Smart Wonders School Sector 71, Mohali, Punjab||Mohali||Punjab|
|2||Category: Young Lion | Theme: Planet||Radiating Pioneers||Vivek High School, Chandigarh, Punjab||Chandigarh||Punjab|
|3||Category: Young Lion | Theme: Planet||MRISN PrithWE||Manav Rachna International School, Noida, Uttar Pradesh||Noida||Uttar Pradesh|
|4||Uttar Pradesh Category: Young Lion | Theme: People||Young Lion||Satya School, Sec 49, Gurugram, Haryana||Gurugram||Haryana|
|5||Category: Young Lion | Theme: Planet||EcoSpark||The HDFC School, Pune, Maharashtra||Pune||Maharashtra|
|6||Category: Young Lion | Theme: Planet||Stubble Trouble||Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad, Haryana||Faridabad||Haryana|
All student of all the approximately 150 teams who had registered for the competition also received a participation certificate.
The jury for the grand finale comprised of experts from the field of sustainability, who grilled the teams with questions pertaining to their unique ideas and projects.
The jury included:
Mr Vikas Verma, Regional Head, North India, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Dr Neha, Senior Fellow and Area Convenor, Strategic Communications for Sustainability, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI)
Dr Pranab J Patar, CEO, Chief Executive, Global Foundation for Advancement of Environment and Human Wellness (GFAEHW)
Dr Ruby Makhija, Founder and Director, Why Waste Wednesdays Foundation (WWWF)
Ms Vasundhara Srivastava, Program Director, Core Team Member (India), Raspberry Pi Foundation
During the event, esteemed guests shared their insights:
Mr. Sanjeet Singh, Senior Advisor, NITI Aayog, who was the Chief Guest for Session 1 of the competition, emphasized the need for sustainable human behaviour and mindfulness toward all life forms.
Dr. Pranjal Patil, Additional Director, Education, Govt of Delhi, who was the Chief Guest for Session 2 of the competition, highlighted the importance of our actions today in shaping our sustainable or unliveable future.
Mr. Manav Gohil, Actor, who was the Guest of Honour for the competition, emphasized the imperative nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need for a shift in mindset.
The event also featured a sustainability exhibition titled ‘Seeds of Hope & Action: Making the SDGs a Reality’. This exhibition emphasized the power of one person in building sustainable world.
We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments of all the participants and are excited about the positive impact their innovative ideas can have on achieving the SDGs. The SOS competition was a testament to the potential and commitment of our young generation in creating a more sustainable and harmonious future.
Watch out for the next SOS competition as we continue to champion sustainability and empower our youth to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
Scroll through the pictures below to have a glimpse of the grand finale of the SOS competition.