The idea of this unique train is to create awareness among masses in general and youth in particular about the rich biodiversity of the country that is home to 8% of the world's biodiversity.
Before culminating at Gandhinagar in Gujarat in February next year, the train will be stationed at many towns/cities including Kurukshetra, Ludhiana, Ramnagar (J&K), Tarn Taran, Meerut Cant, Shahjahanpur, Unnao, Nasik and Gandhidham among other locations in different states.
The present run of the train is the third phase of the Biodiversity Special Science Express. In this phase, the train has 16 coaches. Eight coaches are solely dedicated to showcasing the myriad biodiversity spread across all the bio-geographical zones of India through a variety of interactive exhibits, short films and videos that are shown on Plasma and LED TV screens, large format displays, kiosks and backlit panels.
The remaining coaches have interesting and informative exhibits on climate changes, energy and water conservation and other topical issues.
After flagging off the train here at Safdarjung Railway station, Javadekar said an advertising campaign (comprising exact dates and locations) would be launched so as to sensitize and educate the masses on the nuances of the rich biodiversity of the country.
"It is a journey of learning, spreading the message of biodiversity conservation and telling people that even in these modern times, we still have to depend on biodiversity. The train covering a span of 194 days at 57 locations would benefit 30 lakh students," he said.
Javadekar flagged off the train jointly with railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda and minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh.
Since its launch in 2012, the Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS) train has covered 114 stations and travelled across more than 37,000km in the first two phases.
Phase-I of the SEBS was launched on World Environment Day (June 5) in 2012 from the Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi. Phase-II was launched on April 9 last year from the same station.
"It covered 62 locations and over 22 lakh people, including 5 lakh students and 29,000 teachers from 6,005 schools, enjoyed learning in a fun-filled way", claimed the ministry in its official statement.
It said the present phase would culminate on February 4, 2015 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat after covering 57 locations, whereby the SEBS train would have covered most of the major stations across the country.
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