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Defender of planet Ozzy Ozone goes desi

Combining education with fun, “Ozzy Ozone’ – a small, helmeted cartoon character representing an ozone molecule – will get busy next week, getting across to young children the importance of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Bringing Ozzy Ozone to the city is the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) educational pack, to be released in Marathi, Urdu, Bengali and Hindi.

Catch them young, seems to be the motto. “When concepts are taught to children, they stay with the pupils, which is why primary teachers are the target for this educational pack,” said project coordinator Vinita Apte. The educational pack was originally in French. Apte was approached by the UNEP in January 2007 for translating the pack into regional languages. The pack contains a book, a cartoon and a DVD. It answers all queries related to the ozone layer – which protects life on earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation – including the threats posed to it and the means to protect it, Apte said.

UNEP educational pack to be launched in 4 regional languages on Wednesday

The challenge, however, is to incorporate it into the regular curriculum. “We will try to conduct workshops for primary teachers and explain the pack to them. Plans are also on to approach the educational secretary,” Apte said. She said that word-of-mouth publicity and the media could help popularise the concept.

While the UNEP took care of the production charges for the project, the Indian Overseas Bank sponsored part of the printing process, Apte said. The launch will be held at S M Joshi Foundation, 6 pm on Wednesday. Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale will be the chief guest.  

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