Thursday, May 21, 2009

“Kabaadiwalai” inaugurates Eco club at The Millennium School

Mohali, 15th May 2009: To inculcate environmental concern and understanding among children, The Millennium School (TMS) Mohali today launched the Eco Club. At a function to mark the occasion, the local Recycling Agent Mr. Satish (traditionally known as kabaadiwala) was invited as the chief guest. Mr S S Ladhar, Joint Director- Environment, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology and head of the National Green Corps Programme in Punjab was special guest on the occasion.

The idea for felicitating the Recycling Agent came from the school children themselves since in the course of their environmental project, under the guidance of their teachers, they realized that a kabaadiwala is perhaps the greatest environmentalist in the Indian society who puts tonnes of material on the recycling trail everyday. Inviting Mr. Satish as the Chief Guest was a small way to acknowledge the important work done by his community.

TMS Eco Club is the culmination of three very special projects undertaken by students in the last two months under the Millennium Education for Sustainable Development Program.

The kabaadiwala project- In this project the students of standard 6 interviewed one kabaadiwala each at home and got to know how he works and what material he takes for recycling. All the experiences were discussed in the class and later the students together visited the shop of the head kabaadiwala (where the local kabaadiwala dumps his material) and found out where each kind of material goes for recycling- Where paper goes for recycling, where plastic goes etc. All this was plotted on a map of India to get a sense of the recycling channels in the country.
The report of this project was formally released by the chief guest Mr. Satish at the function.

The Waste Segregation Project- Students of Class 4 explored the waste management in the school and were part of workshops on waste segregation. The waste segregation in the school was planned and implemented by children. Three dustbins were put on each floor under three boards which explain the meaning of bio-degradable waste, non biodegradable waste, and paper waste.

The Waste Audit Project- Class 5 students did not mind getting their hands dirty to do the audit. They got all the waste collected from all the dustbins from the school and segregated all categories of waste – paper, plastic, biodegradable etc. then they put all these in packets and weighed them using a spring balance. Thus coming to know, how much waste the school generates and how much of each type of waste. It was identified that non-biodegradable waste generation in the school was enormous and needed to be reduced.

The students shared their learning and experiences at the event with interesting presentations of their projects.

Speaking on the launch of the Eco Club, Ms. Komal Singh, Principal of TMS Mohali said, “These projects are just the beginning. We have plans for many more interesting projects in the near future that will deepen our children’s understanding about their environment and sensitize them to some of the serious threats facing it.”

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