One person can make a difference, and everyone should try! – With this thought in mind, Nandini Singh, Asna Arif, Aymun Saeed & Mantsha Khan from the Lucknow Team of Earth5R conducted a session on recycling workshop and environmental awareness for children of Sarthak Foundation at Malhaur and Chinhat Bazaar centres at Lucknow, India. These activities were done on 28th and 29th July 2015. The community work was done with approximately 80 children ranging from the age group of 4 to 14 years.
The team raised the issue of ‘Open defecation’ with them. The children belonged to an underprivileged community and did not have toilets at their homes, being forced to defecate in open fields or at road corners. Chinhat is also an extremely polluted area as the local residents dump their waste on a vacant land nearby.
When Earth5R team told them that burning plastic or burying it under the ground is hazardous, they asked a very genuine question. “Ma’am fir kooda kahan daalen?” (“Madam, in that case, where should we dump the waste?” )
It was interesting to learn that the children knew the importance of planting trees and loved doing it. Most of them planted fruit bearing trees and plants like Neem and Tulsi. They also told the team that they dispose the kitchen waste by feeding stray animals.
Earth5R team trained them in recycling techniques, including how to use old news paper for making paper bags, where the best one was awarded a prize.
The best part was when one the children asked just as the team was leaving, “Ma’am phir kab aayengi?’’ (“Madam when will you visit again?’’)
Earth5R Lucknow team will continue this program in more localities and highlight issues regarding their living conditions to the government authorities. The Team will also seek support from local residents in building immediate solutions.
–Reported by Asna Arif.