Downtown

Blank sheets, high scores

Bit by bit: Less privileged children are given notebooks made from unused sheets of paper. Photo: special arrangement

Bit by bit: Less privileged children are given notebooks made from unused sheets of paper. Photo: special arrangement   | Photo Credit: mail pic

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A recycling initiative born in a school gains wider support. Liffy Thomas on its future

In 2011, seven class XI students of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Taylors Road came up with a novel initiative to reduce wastage of paper. They collected unused paper from notebooks of every student to make new books that could be distributed to less-privileged students.

Led by Shreya Prakash, who started the initiative as part of the ‘The Teen of the Year’ contest organised by The Teenager Today magazine in 2010, the team ensured that over 500 new books were made in this manner in the first year at the school.

The campaign got bigger in the second year with 15 more schools joining ‘Kora Kagaz’ (blank paper), as the initiative is called.

Enthusiasm for the work flagged in the third year with most of the friends getting busy with college. They had however not given up on the initiative.

“Shreya moved out of the city on studies. Others got busy with college. But the desire to spread the message remained. This academic year too, we used the papers we had with us in the godown to make books of 50 pages each,” says Gaurav Khemka, who is pursuing his final year B.Com at Loyola College.

He is helped by Pratik Kanodia, from D.G. Vaishnav College, and other volunteers from city colleges, who visit schools, segregate used and unused books to get them bound.

They are next looking at starting chapters where the drive could be carried out independently.

“The plan is to set up chapters in schools, corporate offices and other institutions across the city,” says Gaurav, grateful to the many volunteers who are making this happen.

They have reached out to people through the Facebook page and are also looking at other means to rope in corporates. “We either want corporates to sponsor the cost of binding books or give us their leftover pages to make a book. It could even be one-side non-confidential sheets of paper,” he says.

There is no initial investment and this can be a self-sustaining process. Its binding process is usually aimed at benefiting various small binders across the city or providing vocational training to various groups.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:15:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/a-recycling-initiative-born-in-a-school-gains-wider-support/article6577696.ece

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