St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous) has won the prestigious International Green Gown Awards 2023 endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for Next Generation Learning and Skills. This esteemed recognition was presented at the 2023 International Green Gown Awards Ceremony, held as part of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 17 July 2023.
St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous) was selected as one among the 12 winners of the Green Gown Awards for its “Teresian Karshakashree Challenge” (TKC) selected from 93 finalists representing 25 countries.
The International Green Gown Awards:
Endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Green Gown Awards, in association with Allianz Global Investors, are supported by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and are administered by the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education aimed at celebrating the exceptional efforts of educational institutions worldwide in promoting sustainability.
Teresian Karshakashree Challenge:
An initiative undertaken by St. Teresa’s College, the Teresian Karshakashree Challenge (TKC) focused on exploring organic and eco-friendly farming methods for undergraduate students. The project’s primary objective was to foster environmentally conscious and socially responsive citizens among the youth and inspire them to become Green Ambassadors in their local communities. By combining theoretical knowledge with action-focused challenges, the project aimed at promoting traditional skills and sustainability.
Recognition for Benefitting Society:
The Society of Teresians for Environment Protection (STEP) was honored as a finalist in the category “Benefitting Society” among 93 finalists representing 25 countries. This achievement has earned the college a well-deserved place among the esteemed participants of the International Green Gown Awards 2023.
What the Judges Thought about Karshakashree Project:
“An excellent project using a simple idea with big impact! Empowering women and teaching them about sustainable food growth practices covers many SDGs within a single project. The cascade model whereby learners are encouraged to engage others is a great way to create ripples of impact across the local community and we loved how it also developed non-academic, traditional skills.
The project has a huge reach – and we loved that it was for all students rather than voluntary or part of just one course. The project was well structured with theoretical knowledge being built by online learning and mobilisation through the action focused challenges. The project could easily be replicated by other education providers. The application was well written”.
What it Means to Win:
The Green Gown Award is recognition which reinforces the message that our institution is committed to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. It has provided us with opportunities to collaborate with other institutions, government agencies, and businesses on sustainability research. As we have initiated our centenary celebrations, for our centennial which falls in 2025, achieving the prestigious award adds immense value and enhanced visibility to our institution.
The award is a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of Dr. Nirmala Padmanabhan, the Dean of Extension, the tremendous support of the manager Rev. Dr. Sr Vinitha, Principal, Dr. Alphonsa Vijaya Joseph, former Principals Dr. Sajimol Augustine and Dr. Lizzy Mathew, Vice-Principal Dr. Kala M. S., the teaching faculty and the non-teaching staff involved in the college’s green initiatives. Other members of the team who deserve special mention include: Dr. Elsam Joseph, Dr. Reema Kuriakose, Ms. Merin Alice George, Ms. Tia K. J., Dr. Susan Mathew, Ms. Neenu Susan, Ms. Felcina, Ms. Gayathri R., and all members of BMC, the Student Team of TKC led by Anagha R (III BSc. Zoology 2020-2023), as well as Dr. Rashmi Poojara, Ms. Geethu, Dr. Sruthi Melbin, Ms.Ottina, Dr. Elizabeth Rini, and all STEP team members for their contributions. The apt presentation of the activities for the award was made possible by Dr. Jisha John and her BMC-UNEP student team led by Anna Nicholas (B.Com Capital Market 2020-2023), with additional support from Dr. Rashmi Poojara and Ms. Caroline Loyed who created the documentary.