Odisha: Special session for child leaders on importance of waste segregation

Bhubaneswar: Citizens of future had a nice time with waste management expert, learning how to manage waste right at the source as the city is having a challenge in managing its municipal solid waste (MSW). Currently the state capital is generating around 500 metric tonnes of MSW in a single day.

In a bid to create awareness among kids on importance of segregation of waste at source, a special workshop was organised by Bhubaneswar Urban Knowledge Centre (BUKC) of BDA with more than 30 child leaders of Humara Bachpan, from different slums and informal settlements in the city.

As part of citizen connect initiative under Bhubaneswar City Labs, the children were briefed on various initiatives and projects undertaken by the city to make streets, parks and public places child friendly and accessible to all.

Based on the special theme ‘Waste Segregation at Home and Community’, Narasingha Panigrahi, Director of city-based SG Recycling, conducted an hour long workshop-cum-sensitisation activity for the children. Apart from learning about the positive impact of waste segregation at source, the children were explained in details about different types of waste as well as on the responsibility each one of us shares towards ensuring a green environment by managing our waste responsibly. Examples of best practices and easy solutions were shared while seeking ideas from the child leaders on what they think they can do for effective segregation of waste while putting their best for reduction and reuse of materials.

With enthusiastic participation by the children and sharing of ideas, all of them promised to start three-way segregation of waste and practice the 6 R’s of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Rot, for effective waste management. Some of the ways suggested by child leaders to reduce and reuse of materials included using both sides of paper, use of multiple-use pens instead of use-and-throw ones, carrying water bottles while going out etc.

The special Bhubaneswar City Lab session witnessed active participation by child leaders from over twenty different slum areas of the city. Along with the interactive session, the children were shown short video and animation films on waste segregation and management. As part of ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) initiative, a short demonstrative video was presented on how ugly walls can be converted into beautiful vertical gardens by making use of used PET bottles which turns into bottle planters.

The Bhubaneswar City Labs concept is an extension of the successful series of Smart City Labs organised by the city during smart city challenge. Similar Bhubaneswar city labs sessions were organised last month with volunteers of city-based social organisation Bakul Foundation and also with the children at Ganganagar slum near OUAT.

It may be noted here that during the making of Bhubaneswar Smart City Proposal, the Smart City Labs organised by city authorities were an instant success with active participation of thousands of citizens from various walks of life and backgrounds. The suggestions and feedback received at these city labs played an important role in formulation of Bhubaneswar Smart City proposal which eventually bagged the top rank among 98 cities of India in the Smart Cities Challenge organised by Govt. of India.

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