LET’S STOP LIVING W-A-S-T-E-F-U-L-L-Y
AND START LIVING RESOURCEFULLY
A Workshop for teachers and school administrators on simple, feasible solutions for waste management in schools
held at ESG on 26th June 2015
A day’s workshop for school teachers and administrators was organised where techniques for minimizing resource consumption, improving waste management and efficient reuse and recycling of waste was learnt through presentations, demonstrations, discussions and interactions.
The programme commenced with welcoming the participants from different schools. Bhargavi Rao, Trustee & Coordinator (Education), ESG welcomed the participants and thanked them for taking interest in learning the importance of managing waste and urged them to initiate steps to segregate waste, compost and recycle waste at schools and homes, also educate students, colleagues and neighbours on the same. A round of self introduction was held. During introduction participants shared about the steps they have initiated in their schools/ homes for waste management.
This was followed by a session on “Learning from a case study- How many more Mavallipuras will make me segregate my waste?” by Ms Bhargavi S Rao which took the participants very close to the reality of Bangalore’s Garbage issue. Through the case study participants were made to realise the fact that the unsegregated waste from the city dumped in the backyards of villages at the periphery of Bangalore was hindering the “Fundamental Rights” of the villagers to a safe and secure life. The land, water and the air has been and is being polluted for about two decades now and people there do not have access to even the basic amenities including safe potable water, clean air and soil. Through the session participants were walked through some of the current challenges to help them engage with it in their own surroundings, intense questions like why Mavallipura village was chosen to dump all the waste from the city and not Jayanagar or Palace ground were asked. The resource person connected people’s ignorance to the suffering of these villagers. She explained the ESG’s fight for justice to the villagers in Mavallipura and how this fight has resulted in very progressive decisions and court orders like the formation of Ward committees in 198 wards of Bangalore, mandatory waste segregation at source and also resulted in shutting down of two illegal landfills etc.
This session that took the participants through the harrowing reality of waste management was followed by a session in which ESG’s short documentary - Nammooru Chandadooru was screened. It is a story of three boys who go into deep forest in search of Sanjeevani for the princess who is unwell. Through this documentary the importance of waste segregation is showed in a way which is very impressive. The princess in the film is equated to Mother Earth and the three brothers to all of us who should take care of earth like a princess.
Next session was about Composition of waste and proper disposal methods for different types of waste. Ms. Shashikala Iyer and Ms. Meena Artwani from ESG gave an insight on composition of waste and the wastes which we can be used as a resource. This session helped participants in identifying different types of waste, making it easy to segregate. This was followed by a discussion on proper disposal methods for different kinds of wastes.
Participants were informed that the waste should never be burnt and consequences of burning of wastes were shared. The methods of composting were demonstrated in office backyard where they saw ready manure formed from the wet waste and also the waste that was put into earthen pot or Kumbha for composting. Participants were very impressed with the easy method of composting and assured to use it in their institutions and homes.
Delicious lunch was served after this session. During the lunch hour Ms. Pushpalatha from ESG gave a detailed description of all ESG publications.
Post lunch session started with Ms. Shashikala Iyer from ESG with a presentation on Ward Committees. Ward Committees that are formed in Bangalore city in all the 198 wards are not known to many people. Through this session an effort was made to familiarize people with their ward committees, functions and roles of these committees and how as an individual and as institutions can people engage with these committees. Each participant was asked to identify his/ her ward and also the members of the committee. It was shared that the information on members of ward committees was available in BBMP website. The participants were informed to get engaged with the committee by helping them in raising awareness, cleanliness drive, tree plantation and other issues in their wards etc. It was also highlighted that until and unless the ward committees start functioning effectively, the real decentralization of power, finances etc. would not happen. They were also urged to put pressure on these committees to deliver results for the benefit of the community as a whole.
The next session was about alternate solutions by Ms. Priti Rao from Soil and Soul. She gave a glimpse of the activities of the organisation which included half day and full day treks/ workshops sessions for the students on natural gardening. She gave an example where Priti and her team has converted a patch of the school ground into a forest. She also talked about the Bio-enzymes which are the eco-friendly and which could replace the chemical of detergents, soaps, shampoos, toilet and floor cleaners. The Bio-enzymes are made of natural ingredients that could also clean the polluted water. She requested everyone to make their own bio-enzymes and use it for a pollution free and safe environment.
Ms. Nikhitha and Ms.Pushpalatha from ESG shared important contact details of organisations and agencies that help in disposing different types of waste. Glimpses of the Dry Waste Collection Centres setup in each and every ward were shared. Addresses of some organisations which are working on converting waste into wealth were also shared. Participants were very eager to contact the respective waste collection centres. They were also shown vermicomposting method and ready vermicompost by Ms. Nikhita.
The last session took the participants back to their childhood days when Ms Cheryl along with other ESG team members taught participants to make craft from the waste things available at home. She showed them Magazine holders, file holders made from used carton boxes. They were also shown bird feeders and plant holder made from used plastic (PEP) bottles. A paper mobile holding pouch which can be used while charging mobile stole everyone’s attention. Some teachers also showed few things like flowers that can be made from plastic bags.
The day was packed with sessions and ended with a formal vote of thanks by Ms.Bhargavi Rao to all the participants. Each participant was given a feedback form where they gave suggestions and recommendation on how to improve the programme. The workshop ended on a happy note with all the participants collecting lot of information and ideas on solid waste management for their institution and home.
Feedback from Participants:
“First of all, I wish to thank ESG. I am very happy for having participated in this workshop. The sessions were very informative. I kindly request you to conduct such workshop in our school, the school will be grateful to you”- Prema, The Karnataka Welfare Association for the Blind.
“Today, I have learnt a lot about waste management which is very useful in our daily life. This workshop has inspired me very much. My only request is that these kind of workshops should be conducted for a wider public”- Vijaya Kumar A G, Prarthana School, Padmanabha Nagar, Bangalore.
“The workshop was very informative as to how to manage our waste. The information should be made available to Resident Welfare Association for greater penetration, for a clear and safe Bangalore”- B K Venkatesha Jetty, Spastic Society of Karnataka
“The sessions were useful and informative, I have saved your contact details as I may get in touch with you for guidance in future”- Seema Madhu, Edify School, Bangalore.
Names of Participants:
Names of the Resource Persons:
Report Prepared by : Shashikala Iyer & Meena Artwani with inputs from Bhargavi Rao