The “Awareness through sports program”: now called the “Seeds of Change program”- a name chosen by the children in Tamil, successfully completes one topic cycle: Waste. We have 5 more such topics to cover.
The children played 14 games that helped create awareness on the topic of Waste for the last 2 months, every weekend. 141 children (76 from Mathur village and 65 from Angalakuppam) completed the entire package of the Waste topic.
The children were first made to think about the difference between organic and non-organic waste, and the negative consequences resulting from throwing non-organic waste in nature (less pure groundwater, less water for plants, more mosquitoes, more disease and danger to animals of the village but also for marine life…).
They went on to realize that the use of dustbins was an ecologically and socially healthy behavior. They also understood that once the dustbins were full, the waste should be sent for recycling. Consequently, it was very clear that non-recyclable waste should be avoided at all costs.
This weekend, a meeting will be held in Mathur village with the community and in the presence of the village Panchayat. The children will explain to their village members about their wish to set up a waste collection system; through a “play” which they will perform; and through some drawings. After the performance the educators will ask the community members’ involvement to find a place to build a shed to sort out the waste; and perhaps a minimum monetary involvement from each household, to pay for the 2 garbage-collectors’ salaries.
On a very positive note, we are launching this project in schools also from July onwards; we have more than 200 school children who are ready to start playing these games in 5 different schools which we have identified in the past couple of months. We will play in each school once a week, during their sports hour.