Solid Waste Management has become an important consequence of modernisation and development. In India this is of concern because as the country modernises further it is producing more waste than it can handle. The ‘use and throw’ disposable culture is making matters even worse. Many cities already have a garbage crisis with trash spilling onto the streets. This in turn seeps into water bodies contaminating it and leading to spread of diseases. Widespread dumping and littering goes unchecked. This problem is accentuated further when citizens and civic administrations do not involve themselves in sustainable waste practices. Statistics show that if garbage is dumped at the current rate without suitable interventions, there will be more landfills than open spaces. Can a nation like ours afford such a grim situation?
Role of WASH (Waste, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Education
One way of addressing this problem is to create awareness about sustainable waste management practices. A study by Sociotech Innovation4Change (Sti4Change) revealed that the issue of Waste Management has been relegated to the background in schools. Hence, even though future generations may aspire to have good sanitation and clean surroundings, school curriculums do not address the scientific details. Our study also showed that active learning on WASH issues in schools translated into cleaner neighbourhoods. Hence, Sti4Change has developed this proactive, exciting and age specific learning module for middle school students, so that a rethinking will occur to bring WASH issues to the forefront of the national agenda. We believe school teachers, principals and students will be provided a unique opportunity in raising awareness on issues such as this for the country.
We hope your school will use the lessons and related activities that will produce ‘environment- literate’ students who will care about the country’s public spaces and the environment at large.