IND-2012-194 Mukkala Nammaluar Chetty Vivekanand Vidyalaya Panchamithras- Friends of Nature
Mukkala Nammalwar Chetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya Kundrathur, Chennai 69 Panchamithras - Friends of NaturePanchamithras – D. Manikandan, Dilip Prabhakaran, S.Dhivyasri, P.Amruthavarshini & L.NivethaFeelProblems that bothered us 1. Traffic jam at the market place. 2. Traffic signal not functioning properly the cross road. 3. Low lying electric cables broken by passing vehicles. 4. Damaged roads. 5. Drainage block due to plastic waste. 6. Growth of weeds in vacant land. 7. Unhealthy, unhygienic roadside food stalls. 8. Lack of proper drainage system in extended areas of Kundrathur. 9. Littered plastic waste in and around the school premises.
Talk to people involved We talked to the residents around the school locality regarding theproblems faced by them regularly (Sambandam nagar & Manickam nagar). Thefollowing were the problems listed 1. Too much of mosquitoes 2. Blockage in the sewage line 3. Over flow of sewage water 4. Breathing problems 5. Irritation of eyes etc. We discussed with the residents as to why these problems are prevailing inour locality. The reasons are: the littered plastic waste blocks the drainage lineand leads to the overflow of sewage water into the streets which breeds germsand mosquitoes causing several diseases among the residents, burning ofplastics garbage also leads to breathing problems and irritation of the eyes, theplastic waste littered spoils the beauty of natureImagineProblem ChosenTo fight against plastic waste generated in and around the school locality.Reason Problems like low lying electric cables, traffic signals, traffic jam etc needto be solved by the officials of governing bodies. Plastic garbage, misuse ofplastic is considered as the main cause for many problems listed above. Wewere emotionally disturbed by the news of outbreak of communicablediseases like dengue, cholera in several places. Clearing plastic litters andcreating awareness among the public could be done by ourselves so weselected the problem.Solutions Create awareness about hazards of plastics to the students Create awareness about plastic pollution to the residents by arranging for a meeting of local residents at school. Cleaning the locality with the co-operation of school mates, residents and NGO (Hand-in-Hand)
Keeping information boards in locality, which insist the proper segregation of waste and harmful effects of plastic.Final decision To create awareness among the residents and to clean the area of plastic waste, with the help of the Vidyalaya students and Hand – in – Hand a nongovernmental organization in Kundrathur.DoResources needed to implement the solution. Pamphlets – to invite residents to the meeting held at school with information for segregation of biodegradable and non biodegradable waste Placards – carrying messages related to plastic waste management Badges, meeting hall with mike, chairs, projector with LCD, camera, gloves, facemask, tools for cleaning, bags, band to draw attention etc.,People needed Scouts, Guides and JRC students from the Vidyalaya. Volunteers from NGO (Hand-in-Hand) Members of residential associations to do follow up work Residents from the locality (Sambandam nagar & Manickam Nagar) Principal and teachers of the Vidyalaya.Budget required Money needed for pamphlets and awareness boards to be kept at vantage points of the locality. This is our story of change The plastic waste littered around our school premises troubled us so much that we thought we should do something to create awareness among the residents of the area about the hazards of plastics, how it affects the environment and also the living creatures. o Prepared pamphlets and placards for an alertness walk o Sought permission from Principal to organize a meeting for the residents in the school premises, to use the LCD projector, help of Scouts, Guides and JRC Students to help clean the locality o Went on an alertness walk o Invited the residents for a meeting o Issued pamphlets about segregation of domestic waste. o Met the Sambandam nagar welfare association president to invite for the meeting. o Sought the help of NGO (Hand-in-Hand) to help clear the plastic waste.
o Appealed to the school students to sponsor some old newspapers to meet the budget requirement. o Cleaning of the locality was done on two days – 13th & 14th September 2012. o Collected the old newspapers from the students. o Sold the old news papers to the old newspaper mart and generated Rs. 820.00 o Displayed placards carrying slogans stressing the importance of segregating plastics waste and keeping the earth a better place to live Outcome o A teacher has decided to avoid items made of plastics to be presented to others during functions and celebrations. o The residents have promised to segregate the waste as degradable and non degradable o Students have promised to speak to their parents about reducing the use of plastics.What we learnt and how we felt at the end? We learnt valuable lessons while working on “Design for Change”. Ourrespect and faith in Mahatma Gandhi’s words “Be the change” has increasedmultifold. We realized that in order to bring the desired change outside, innerchange is the first step. When we get ready to do something really good, we get the help andsupport of a number of people. Winning the support of the local residents isnecessary to make this everlasting. Taking the first step was difficult. Aftertaking that, the rest of it was easy as we developed a lot of confidence. When we try something on our own, quite a few people criticize but weshould not get discouraged by it. We have realized and have started reducingthe use of plastics and have also brought a positive change in our familymembers and friends. But there is still a lot to be done and to achievecomplete success a continuous effort must be made to make our locality‘plastic free’. We feel happy that we have taken the first step towards it. Wewill make this world a better place to live.
Preparing placards and pamphlets Alertness Walk
Inviting the residents for a meetingPowerPoint presentation on hazards of plastics
Cleaning the area with the help of students of the Vidyalaya and NGO (hand-in-hand) Students at work
Panchamithras & their teamPanchamithras with Principal and Members of NGO (Hand-In-Hand)
Old Newspapers collected from studentsOld Newspapers being sold to Old newspaper mart