BENGALURU: Bengaluru has been suffering from problems related to waste management for quite some time now. However, there have been no efforts made by officials to spread the message of how to manage waste in schools and among the youngest stakeholders in society - chidlren. Now, a citizens initiative on solid waste management is slowly working to make this part of the school’s curriculum. Members of the Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT), a group comprising people and organisations working in the field of waste management, released a five chapter book called ‘Thrashonomics’ last year, which focuses on ways to teach students about solid waste management.
Subsequently, they have gone on to conduct workshops in as many as 80 governments and private schools, based on teaching from the book. Archana Kashyap, a member of the SWMRT and compiler of the book, is also the lead advisor in the Thrashnomics initiative. She says, “We are pushing to make the Tharshnomics workshop a part of the school’s curriculum in the state and other places too. We do not expect the book to becomes part of the curriculum as a whole, but the content of the book, in some form or another, should definitely be part of a student’s learning.”
Although Archana admits that the group’s efforts in this direction have not met with much success, it has, however, not deterred them from trying. “We are trying to get more leads. We had spoken to the previous mayor to introduce learning in solid waste management in BBMP schools. In Delhi, we have tried to meet the officer in charge of all ecoclubs in government schools.
We are also planning to do the same in Karnataka,” says Archana. She adds, “Students are more receptive to such initiatives. They can also change the way the entire community thinks.” Around 4,000 copies of the book have already been distributed, and they are available in in Kannada, English and Hindi. The Thrashonomics book and workshop include ways on how to segregate waste and also how recycling should be done. The five-chapter book could be taught in three sessions of one hour each, or be further broken up for longer durations. So far, the group has been training people from the corporate sector as well as teachers to take the programme forward in their respective ways.