A stalwart supporter of environmental issues, Kirtida has led the national ‘Plant-a- Tree’ programme as a way for members of the community to give back to the country and support the continued growth and development of its greenery and biodiversity.
Her passion for the environment has extended into her work as a Trustee for the UWCSEA Foundation. In 2010 she helped launched the Adopt-a-Tree programme at the East Campus, which has since seen over 130 trees planted, and in 2013, together with her husband, she established the Kirtida and Barat Mekani Rainforest Restoration project on both campuses.
Her support has seen the creation of specialised nurseries, which are run and managed by students and now provide a vibrant home to over 650 seedlings of mainly vulnerable and critically endangered rainforest species. Once mature, these trees are planted across the college and also in prominent spots at Dover Court Prep School, the former campus of the Chinese International School (CNIS, now Hillside World Academy) and in areas of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Describing her passion for the Rainforest Restoration project, Kirtida explains, “This project epitomises my belief that the mother of all learning, is in doing. It is important to learn through observation and study, but crucial to get our hands dirty and get actual work done. Being a student initiative, this is especially important as these students are empowered with an outstanding education both in, and outside of, the classroom. “
Chris Edwards, Head of College, is thrilled that Kirtida passion has been recognised in such a significant way, "Kirtida is incredibly deserving of this award. She is an exceptional advocate for environmental issues. UWCSEA is all the richer for her dedication and commitment to instilling environmental stewardship as a part of every child’s education. We offer her our sincere thanks for all she has done, and continues to do, for the College.”
Kirtida is pictured above in the Rainforest Restoration Project Nursery with UWCSEA East High School students.