Neither students nor public visited this custom-built 16 coach-mounted AC train by Indian Railways although news items and ads were extensively carried by print media.
Science Express, an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a AC Coaches which chugged in today at Ashokpuram Railway Station received poor response from the student community and general public.
Designed on the theme ‘Climate change’, a collaborative initiative by Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Indian Railways, Science Express will be stationed at Ashokpuram Railway Station from Wednesday to Saturday (March 30 to April 2). The state-of-the-art exhibition aboard the Science Express Climate Action Special is aimed to create awareness among various sections of the society, especially students, as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation. Though the Science Express has received an overwhelming response in all other cities, it received a very poor response on the first day of its arrival to Mysuru.
Few visitors who paid a visit to the science express said that it was an odd time for students since SSLC and PUC exams are going on and most of the primary and high schools have declared summer vacation. If it was stationed during the school season, the school managements would have taken their students to the expo which is trying to convey a strong message about climate change and create an opportunity to generate discussion among students.
The Science Express Climate Action Special was flagged off on October 15, 2015 from Delhi Railway Station and is scheduled to travel across the country for about seven months, halting at 64 locations in 20 states, covering 19,800 kilometres. It is designed to contribute towards increasing the understanding of the science of climate change, the anticipated impacts and different possible responses. Various broad themes are covered in each coach and special science instructors are roped in every coach to instruct and give information to the visitors on various topics and models displayed. One of the science communicators said: “Till date, nearly 19 lakh visitors have stepped in to the Science Express and in Mysuru, we are expecting more number of general public and students from Thursday once the news is spread through various mediums.”
The Science express was inaugurated by Zoo Executive Director Venkateshan. Speaking to mediapersons he said: “The Science Express Climate Action Special train is a great initiative spreading awareness and insights on climate as a system. It also helps the public to explore and know more on climate issues, especially the negative impacts. Various models depicting pollution, latest innovations and new technologies are well-arranged and showcased. This is a great platform for the students to gain more knowledge on various topics related to climate change”.
Some of the general public commented that if the Science Express was stationed at the Mysuru main railway station, it would have gained more publicity and garnered more attention.
The exhibition is open to all and there is no entry fee. The train will be stationed at Ashokapuram Railway Station from 10 am to 5 pm till April 2.