Shreya Prakash and her team have crafted ‘Kora Kagaz', an initiative that uses waste paper to help the underprivileged.

The morning of July 30, 2011, was a memorable day in the lives of the Kora Kagaz team and the 174 students of The Chennai Primary School, Odaikuppam, Besant Nagar. The students of this underprivileged school were excited to receive notebooks and footwear from this group of teenagers, committed to doing their bit for society.

The happy smiles and gratitude on the kids' faces made the tedious process of collection, segregation and binding absolutely worth it for Shreya Prakash and the members of Kora Kagaz.

Eco-friendly

Kora Kagaz, literally meaning ‘Blank Paper', is a project that aims to reduce wastage of paper by making meaningful use of it. Unused waste paper is made into new books and given to those who cannot afford them. Used waste paper is recycled to make envelopes, scratch pads and to bind books.

All their books, stationery, envelopes and scratch pads go towards a noble cause: helping underprivileged children in their education. This way Kora Kagaz wishes to address the issues of subsidising education and decreasing carbon footprints.

The team of high school graduates from Chinmaya Vidyalaya dream of a tomorrow where every child, despite their social and financial status, has an opportunity of receiving education and imbibing good values that can help them live a better life.

They also provide seasonal employment to the underprivileged to bind the books, to sustain their livelihood and thereby integrating them into society.

Initially, Shreya Prakash initiated this as part of the project round for Teen of the Year 2010.

Rewarding

The Kora Kagaz project (now a joint social experiment by seven enterprising teenagers) was not only proclaimed the best community project but also received a special mention at the TOY 2010 and also won the Change Makers Conference 2011.

Currently working with the support of many prominent city schools like Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Bhavan's Rajaji Vidhyashram, Sindhi Model Senior Secondary School, to name a few, the team welcomes volunteers to join them. So, if you're looking for a fun yet meaningful experience this summer, Kora Kagaz invites volunteers to help for a few hours a week to make a difference to the lives of little children.

For more information or details about the initiative contact Shreya Prakash @ +919003269383 or e-mail: shreya.diva@gmail.com; group e-mail id: korakagaz7@yahoo.com.

Prerna is a II year student at Women's Christian College.