Thursday, 5 September 2013

Goa- Madgaon

Currently Science express is stationed at Madgaon. The train reached Madgaon on 1st September 2013. The first day being a journey day was a happy respite for the team; many members went to visit various places in and around Goa, like Dona Paula, Bom Jesus Church, Bagha Beach and other places.

A large number of schools visited the train, the number of schools being higher than the previous phase.

Currently the train is in Goa, the communicators are going to miss this beautiful beach paradise. The train will leave for Miraj station and get ready to embark on its Maharashtra tour tonight.

For now, it will be hard to say bye to lovely Goa, but the journey must continue..

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Balasore- Chandipur

Science express chugged into Balasore. The band of dreary eyed science communicators piled into 3 vans and journeyed to Chandipur, which was a half hour drive from the station. As the team approached the hotel, the sea was visible at a distance. All the tiredness and sleep vanished as the communicators realized that the beach was just next door to the hotel. Many of us simply dumped our bags in the room and ran to the beach. The sea was simply divine.

Beach cleaning

On 3rd July the SEBS team, got together and cleaned up the Chandipur beach. There were plastics, glass waste, paper waste, metal waste and discarded clothes on the beach that we all cleaned up. We started at about 6 in the morning, and continued till about 7 a.m. The trash was rounded up in black trash bags, which were then handed over to the hotel authorities for proper disposal. The entire activity was a great experience as we all actually did some cleaning and got out of the train to practice what we preach.
The weather and the setting was just perfect and each one of the communicators could be seen carefully picking out trash and collecting the waste in bags, some working alone and some in groups chit chatting with one another. Once the cleaning was wrapped up, the communicators got ready to play some mischief; splishing, splashing, singing, jumping, having fun, became the order of the day and soon everyone rushed back to the hotel to freshen up and get ready to reach Balasore station. It was truly a great morning spent with nature, caring for nature. 


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Greetings from Guwahati!

Moving constantly, working every day, without a single leave, living a nomadic existence, shifting base from one city to another, one hotel to another-that is what science express involves. Some days we take it well, some days we don’t. Ups and downs are definitely a part of life, but science express embodies so many highs and lows and at such a frequency that it does become hard to cope with. A much needed nourishment and fuel for the heart, came in the form of an e-mail from Bijoy Goswami, fondly known as Bijoy Da. A heartfelt and wonderfully worded letter- Bijoy da’s email was read out during the morning meeting amongst the communicators, and everyone was left feeling pleased and enthused.

Subject- Friends on wheels

Dear Friends on wheels- "Science Express"

Hope you all are doing well! Sometimes it appears tough but at times a smile of an individual will snatch away your exhaustion. It will make you feel proud of having enlightened someone with your knowledge and wisdom. I appreciate all your efforts in making this earth a better place to live in. Doesn't matter how big your effort is, persistence matters. Being an educator it is important to take the learning a long way in our life. It is not just a project, it is the platform to build your capacity to transform society and change the way we all live today by being a change agent. I thank you all for accepting me one among you and providing me some space to share mutually beneficial elements of our purpose. The evening addas and rhythm of KANGNA will always be in my mind. The song has given me a new learning about being involved in something. And you will find that the more you are involved, the better is the quality you deliver. Science Express is the way of being happy within a crowd, within people, make the most of it. Create a healthy network which will be an asset in future. I don't know what tangible outcome you will get after this but I am sure you all will have a million dollar confidence with you to face and withstand any hardship in life. Having said that I wish you all a happy and productive journey ahead. Be happy, happiness lies within!!!! Jai Hind


Bijoy Sankar Goswami

Thanks Bijoy Da!! We hope to meet you soon!!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Science Express to me is..........!

SEBS makes me feel like I can ignite love for science and care for nature in all groups of people especially our future, young students.
-          Richa

Enlightened is the one who continues to remain a good student of nature. SEBS is an enlightening experience.
-          Siddhesh

Science express mera pehla aur akhri pyar hai!
-          Raghav

Biodiversity: Nature’s “Wow”
Its protection: Our vow
-          Atman

“Science Express Biodiversity Special” is like an ocean of knowledge, facts and many other interesting things about India’s biodiversity and environmental issues. Its one helluva train, moving on the Indian rail tracks and reaching every corner of India! Really, it’s a great opportunity for me that I could become a part of this project, wherein I am exposing myself to people of different regions, speaking different languages and having different cultures; at the same time I learn a lot from them! It has been 26 days since I joined the train, and there’s a lot to learn. I feel the remaining 5 months are also not enough for me to assimilate all that this train embodies.                                       
-          Jaydev

My two month experience in SEBS was very great & wonderful... learning more day by day….its very exciting ..... still more to know... 
-          Deepa

Science Express is a journey that leaves no footprints and only imprints....
It refers to reducing carbon footprint and embracing biodiversity by enlightening young minds, all through the journey……
-          Sneha

Experience of being a science communicator is out of the world because you meet people from all walks of life. You get to hold a one month old baby; you can teach special children; you can interact with home makers as well as confused teenagers. No other job can give an opportunity of meeting lakhs of people in just 7 months! Proud to be part of SEBS!
-          Madhurima

SEBS has added a new episode of amazing learnings to my life; while
traveling through India, I found the same smell of soil in every region of our nation. People are so simple and loving! They are curious to learn
and are head over heals about SEBS.
-          Mukesh

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Jahan hai hariyali, wahan hai khushali. Saari dharti kare pukar, paryavaran ka karo sudhar!!!!

Jahan hai hariyali, wahan hai khushali.
Saari dharti kare pukar, paryavaran ka karo sudhar!!!!

WED- World Environment day – 2013 on SEBS

What a day!! So much happened that it’s difficult to list out everything…………………. However, here follows a brief description of all that was done that day, in the words of the communicators themselves…J

On world environment day, I had conducted Nature on the Stage competition. The idea was to give topics to students like “save the tiger”, “air pollution”, “save fuel” etc. and they had to give out a message through a small self developed skit. The participation was good with students performing quite well. The participants managed to deliver meaningful messages through quite entertaining and humorous performances. I felt very happy after conducting the competition because all the students enjoyed very much and were content with the event and along with that they learnt important environment related messages!


Hi! On World environment day, I conducted outreach activities at New Tinsukia Jatiya Vidyalaya. These are the salient features of what I conducted:
-I started with a brief description about the content of Science Express Biodiversity   Special Phase VI and its main motive.
Then I moved on to games and activities like –“how to join 9 points with 4 lines”, “how to solve the Brahma’s tower puzzle” and the demonstration of Newton’s cradle. Other games included the “Habitat fragmentation game” and “Web of Life”.
We had a lengthy discussion about varied biodiversity related topics like the Tectonic plate theory, which supports the idea that India was once a part of Gondwanaland and that the Indian sub-continent had detached itself from Africa; we discussed the biodiversity and cultural heritage of North-East India and the need to conserve our available bio-resources.
Through our discussions I learned about various bamboo species and about the medicinal value of some locally available plants.

       We concluded by remembering two quotes of Mahatma Gandhi-
“Be the change you want to see in the world” and
“The world has enough to meet every person’s needs but not their greed.”

I felt extremely proud when the Principal felicitated me and thanked me for visiting their school.
The next day a group of students from the same school visited the train and told me that they remembered the outreach event conducted by me at their school and that they really enjoyed it. That really made my day! :)


World environment day is a commitment to the nature that we will protect and nurture her as our mother. A story writing competition was organized on the occasion of world environment day on the SEBS train. This was an effort to squeeze out the creative juices from school children. A pitcher plant talks to an insect was the topic (a strong encounter between two enemies- the pitcher plant kills insects by gulping them). The struggle to survive in the biosphere continues by humans, plants, birds and animals. This struggle should be a stimulus to have a cordial relationship with the nature. This was the idea behind the story writing competition proposed by me. It was an interesting exercise and even though not many participated, I was glad that the idea had been taken forward and that students came up with their views.


On World Environment Day, I had conducted a quiz competition. It was very interesting for the students and they really enjoyed the event. They came to know many new things about science. I too enjoyed a lot with the students and it was a great experience to cheer them on, to get answers from them and to motivate them to know more about science.


I conducted activities and experiments in the JOS Lab among school students on world environment day, which focused on human induced impacts on climate change and biodiversity and how balanced biological diversity is itself able to reform the environment hence making the earth a suitable place to live in for humans.

Our Tree Our Friend

I’ve just joined SEBS and it has been about one month! Being fond of mimicry and acting, I was involved in a “platform play” twice- once on International Biodiversity day and then on World Environment Day. A team from Science Express including Raghav sir, Bijoy Sir, Chandra Shekhar, Richa, Prachee and myself reached Hijuguri Assamese Middle English School which was about a kilometer away from the New Tinsukia Railway Station. We had a short play titled “OUR TREE, OUR FRIEND” in the play ground of the school regarding environment conservation. Through the play we aimed to spread a message about the important role of trees in our life and that still we were rampantly cutting them down without knowing their pain.  After the play we arranged a rally from the school to the railway station shouting at the top of our voices the following slogan:

जहाँ है हरियाली वहाँ है खुशियाली.
सारी धरती करे पुकार , पर्यावरण का करो सुधार!

It was really a great time for me and I feel happy that contributed to the environment in some way! The cherry on the cake was that I really enjoyed my interaction with children while performing the skit and conducting the rally:D

Everyone participated in one event or the other, and the entire day was packed with amazing energy and fervour! We had Bijoy Goswami and Ravi S. Das from CEE, Regional Assam Cell joining us, and they not only helped us with our own pre-existing ideas, but they also added new dimensions to our concepts and expanded our ideas into more practical, successful and meaningful events; Bijoy da- the brain storming sessions with you proved to be so enriching and interesting! Thank you for making Science Express an even more colourful, happy and meaningful place!

For all the events that have not been extensively written about, here is a short picture capsule covering all that has been left out:

Logo Competition 

Make a promise

 A green future

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

All hail my motherland!!

“Mera rang de basanti chola, maaye rang de….”...  I felt goose bumps as my new friend and me were listening to this song, while traveling to the New Delhi, Safdarjung Station on 9th April 2013; the eventful day on which the ‘Science Express – Biodiversity Special’ was to be flagged off, once again. It was the first day of my very first job and I wanted to get into it with the right frame of mind; this song- with its wonderful music by A. R. Rahman and the most touching lyrics was good enough to instill patriotism and sheer love for our motherland, in the heart of any Indian. We marveled at the beautifully written and sung verses, looking at each other and smiling excitedly, believing that we were going to contribute to the betterment of our country. The Science Express team reached the Safdarjung Station completely charged up to commence a phenomenal journey of seven months, around the country!

At the Station, the venue was being prepared for a grand ceremonial inauguration and flag-off by Smt. Sheila Dikshit, the Honb’le Chief Minister of New Delhi, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Honb’le Minister of Railways and Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Hon’ble Minister of Environment & Forests.  There were officials and workers bustling about the place, making arrangements and phone calls, and we walked in, nervous but excited to contribute and be involved in the ongoing activities. A few of the team members had been part of Science Express in the past and they were cool and confident guiding us as to what to do next.

The train was beautifully and elaborately decorated. We were welcomed aboard the exhibition train with the warm and smiling faces of Shri Chander Mohan Sir, Advisor, NCSTC, DST and Shri Dilip Surkar, Executive Director, VASCSC! As always, they asked us about our well being and how we werefeeling, everyone spoke and shared their thoughts. The dignitaries were to be conducted through the train coaches along with the communicators and were to be explained about the coachs’ content and its relevance.

Smt. Sheila Dikshit showed keen interest while being conducted through the coaches and I had the opportunity to brief her about the coasts and islands of India and the flora and fauna found there. Shri Praveen Kumar Bansal attentively listened to the communicators and gave valuable inputs through the discussion. After the dignitaries visited the train, they were taken back to the stage and each one of them was invited to say a few words on the occasion. Smt. Dikshit shared her experience of having spotted a rare Siberian owl while taking an evening walk along with her daughter and she said that it was one of the most joyful evenings that she had spent. She stressed that our country was one of the most diverse countries, with one of the longest coastlines and highest mountain ranges and pointed out the importance of safeguarding our natural wealth.

As the evening proceeded, a number of media persons approached the guests and science communicators and recorded a number of news bytes, hence giving good coverage to the function. Finally at 5.45 pm, on 9th April 2013, the Science Express – Biodiversity Special was flagged off from Delhi Safdarjung Station; great loads of cheers and shouts accompanied the flagging off and everyone was very happy and enthused! The train then reached Pragati Maidan, Delhi where the exhibition was to be showcased for four days. After the flagging off, an informal meeting was held between the communicators, Shri Dilip Surkar Sir and Shri Chander Mohan Sir; snacks were distributed and the communicators were encouraged to further break the ice and become more comfortable with each other. Towards the end, the SEBS team had a photograph with the dignitaries, who gave the project their blessings before leaving.

As we traveled back to the hotel, in the bus, I looked around at my fellow communicators and wondered what was going to keep us together for 7 months; would it be our friendship, our love for the job, our manager’s efforts or something else? As I was musing over the same topic, I remembered the song…..”Mera rang de basanti chola”. I smiled and then it dawned upon me- the unique biodiversity of India and its richness, our love and appreciation for the amazing natural bounty of our motherland, and its blessings- that would keep us together for 7 months and make the project a success. All hail my motherland!!