The Seeds of Change program is in collaboration with 5 schools in and around Pondicherry where weekly sessions are conducted.

After a year of regular activities, a group of children have:
-Played ‘Playda’ games(that aim to raise awareness) on the waste management topic.
-Shared their knowledge on the problems and solutions of waste management with other children from their school, using the Child to Child philosophy.
-They are now setting up a waste collecting system to implement a concrete behavioral change.
Manibharathy, a thirteen year old student at the government High School of Nonankuppam who has participated in the Seeds of Change school sessions for the past year shares her experience with us.
“Before you (addressing the educators of the Seeds of Change program) started visiting our school I used to give our kitchen and garden waste to our neighbor’s cow, and she used to eat it happily . But we didn’t have a dustbin at home so we used to burn the remaining waste. Now, I know better, so I asked my mother to get a dustbin, she decided instead to convert an old bucket into our dustbin. When the dustbin is full, I take all the recyclable waste to the scrap shop that is very close to where I live. The neighbor’s cow, Dhenu, still enjoys the leaves and the vegetable skins from our kitchen.”
She has not only brought significant change to her life at home but also in the school. We had proposed a paper waste collecting system as a way to implement a long term behavioral change in the children and the school institution. But as things go, there were inevitable hurdles that took us two-three weeks to set up the waste collecting system.
Manibharathy, is not one to sit and wait for things to happen. She and her friend teamed up to collect waste paper from different classrooms through their network of friends. By the time we installed a cardboard box in each classroom to collect waste paper, Manibharathy already had a file full of the same, ready to be sold to the scrap shop.

We asked her what she would do with the money she got from selling the paper, half expecting to hear something about buying sweets or some such teenager’s delight. But the gentle soul surprised us. Over time, when she had collected enough money, she wanted to buy a wall clock for her classroom!
She has shared this plan with the class teacher as well, possibly leaving her pleasantly stunned. When she bumped into our educators she was curious as to what is it that we did that motivated the children to act in this manner. She said she had never seen such a positive reaction from the children before.
I’m quite sure the educators answered with flushed cheeks and swelling pride as they explained the project to her. But I would tell her quite simply: We make learning fun. That’s all.
Manibharathy’s story is not unique there are many such ambassadors of positive change in the five schools we conduct our activities. A result of learning through fun.
– written by Pranjal, assistant coordinator of the Seeds of Change program