Schoolchildren taught to look at waste in a new way

Children’s imagination can turn the humblest space into an adventure land. So when children from several schools across the city were given old bottle caps and some waste paper here Tuesday, they came up with radiant flower bouquets and flowerpots.

The children were participating in a workshop held by Reap Benefit, a non-governmental organisation, to teach them to be creative with scrap material, here on Tuesday. The workshop was organised at Freedom Park as part of Wake Up, Clean Up Bengaluru, a weeklong exposition on promoting good solid waste management practices. Other activities for children included a quiz and a collage-making workshop.

Starting early

For the past two days, nearly 1,000 children from various schools in the city visited the exposition to understand the huge problem before the city — disposal of garbage. Volunteers take the children on a tour around Freedom Park to help them understand the concept behind segregation and importance of recycling. A street play on the subject had the children in splits, while the Experience Centre highlighted the different kinds of waste and how to segregate them.

M.S. Satish and K.L. Satish, Class 8 students from Sri Ganapathy Vidya Mandir, were interested to learn more about garbage segregation. “There are so many categories of waste. We are amazed to see so many things have been fashioned out of the things we throw away. At one stall, they have made a swing out of empty juice packets,” they said. They pledged to ensure the waste generated in their homes will be segregated at source.

The excited schoolchildren said that they would help their parents segregate the waste, give the organic waste to the nearby parks to create compost. “We have taken a pledge to educate more people about the importance of segregating garbage. This is one way we can keep our city clean.”

Volunteers from various organisations felt that it was important to educate children who could later actually practise what they learnt about effective waste management. Students from Canadian International School, Frank Anthony Public School, Sri Aurobindo Academy, Air Force School, Rashtriya Military School and Inventure Academy visited the exposition.

So what was their takeaway at the end of the day? “This is a better way to learn about handling and proper disposal of garbage than reading about it in our textbooks.” That was the common sentiment.