‘Trashonomics’ in three more languages

By Ranjani Madhavan| Express News Service | Published: 11th September 2018 10:08 PM
Transhonomics session being conducted at a government school

BENGALURU : A five-chapter guide, titled Trashonomics, provides a simple guide on how to go about solid-waste management. Used to teach children in government schools across Bengaluru, Mysuru and Delhi, it will soon be available in Tamil, Oriya and Bengali.

Members of the Bengaluru-based Solid Waste Management Round Table have been using this guide, which is available in Kannada, Hindi and English. “We are working with voluntary translators from Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Chennai. This will help us scale our initiative in government schools in these areas. The Oriya guide is almost complete and will be ready by October,” says Archana Prasad Kashyap, co-author of Trashonomics.

“The Tamil and Bengali guides should be ready by the next academic year. Translation is a long process, as those who know the language do not necessarily know solid waste management. They might take the terms too literally, for which we are first training them in the subject,” Archana explains, adding that organisations from cities in respective states have come forward to collaborate.

Though the illustrations will remain the same, they need to be reworked to fit in text of the other languages. Generally speaking of waste management, may not be useful or understandable to kids, the volunteers believe. To make children relate, she says, “We ask them to bring dry waste from their homes to segregate it at school. This comes up to about 1 kg in total. We explain to them that the waste is to be split into the 30 to 70-odd categories as per Dry Waste Collection Centre (DWCC) rules.”

This is where children understand that, for example, a chutney packet cannot be included in dry waste. They further understand the enormity of the exercise, when they are told that waste pickers segregate one to two tonnes of waste at DWCCs per day. 

“When they grow up to be doctors, for example, they need to think about how to dispose bio-medical waste responsibly. Any business or service generates waste, and they need to be sensitised on how to manage it,” the author adds.The project, supported by The Anonymous Indian Charitable Trust (TAICT), has received a grant from Millenium Alliance to train 150 government school teachers on the subject, so that they can take it forward without depending on volunteers.

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