The Young Green Researchers Conference was organised by Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai on 3rd October, 2021 to culminate the month long Season of Creation initiatives by the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM). The main objective of the conference was to get the youth to take responsibility for small research projects in the environment and to work on it. The Chief guest for the occasion was Dr Anandi Subramanian who was earlier the Principal Advisor to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. In her inaugural talk, Dr Anandi explained the basics of doing a research work which was of great help to the youth to carry forward their research work after the conference.
Sr Melissa D’Souza FMA, the resource person spoke very passionately about the negative influence of plastics and packaging on the environment. Sr Melissa also gave some practical examples of what can be done to resolve this crisis of plastics. Mr Shridhar Balakrishnan who had a vast experience in the Production of Vehicles, QA and Industrial Engineering enlightened the youth about the basics of electric vehicles and its challenges.
The major part of the conference was the group discussion by the youth in their respective groups where they chose a project which they will work on after the conference. The group of Shanize Forte choose to do a study on recycling of milk pouches and suggest a viable substitute. The group of Pramila Irudayaraj choose to work on making a cost benefit analysis on using innovative containers as a replacement for single use plastic packaging. The group of Vanessa Rasquinha choose to work on new ways of promoting waste segregation. The group of Natasha Fernandes choose to work on studying the presence of microplastics in water through testing, survey and creating awareness.
Each group had a Salesian or a resource person as a mentor and the group leader made a presentation of their project which included the project proposal, the timeline, the methodology, funding options and the impact it will make in society. The conference concluded with the concluding note by Fr Savio Silveira, the Provincial of Mumbai Province who thanked the resource persons and highlighted the enthusiasm he saw in the young people to carry forward the projects they had chosen. At the end of the day, twenty Young Green Researchers of the Salesian Youth Movement went back with hope to work on their group research project and to make an impact in their own little way.