India: Living the Change

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Name of project: Kude Se Dhan” – Growing food on waste

Organisation: Development Alternatives (CLEAN-India Programme)

Country : India

Organisational type: Non-governmental organisation (national)                                

Year in which it was started: 2004

Brief description:

It’s not waste! We grow our food on it!

Dindigul, a town in South India is  known for its iron locks and tanneries. Despite industrial and commercial advancement however, inadequate waste management left  the streets lined with muck and filth.

Growing vegetables on waste
As a step towards effective waste management in their city, students of CLEAN-India, Dindigul transformed the face of their city by making their waste into wealth. With the help of Gandhigram trust, our partner in Dindigul, the students took up solid waste management in R.M. colony successfully, thus reducing the burden on the municipality.  It all began by students motivating the local people and making them aware of the issues of solid waste and the problems associated with its management. 
A simple, inexpensive, eco-friendly, profitable technology based initiative that has been taken up by Gandhigram Trust under the CLEAN-India Programme, in order to manage kitchen waste is City Farming. In this initiative kitchen waste/biodegradable waste is being used for growing vegetable, fruits, flowering plants etc. The disposal of organic waste is greatly reduced, reaching the zero level progressively. This successfull initiative in the households of a housing colony have catalysed many more.

The Sagar Story
Sagar, a small town of M.P has been facing problems of waste management. In face of this situation the lead was taken by the CLEAN-India students with the help of the local NGO partner, Rural Environment Development Society (REDS). Five colonies were adopted for carrying the programme on pilot basis.
The students succeeded in motivating and involving the local people/ residents to take the responsibility in  ensuring that the waste generated from their households is properly segregated, collected and transported to the dumpsite of the municipality.
These initiatives have set examples for other colonies and other towns and cities like Amreli, Aurangabad, Varnasi and Jaipur.
Principal target groups covered by the project:
Adult learners
Children (from 5 to 15 years)
Community-based organizations
General public
Government officials

Main education and communication methods used:
Small group discussions or workshops
Seminars and conferences
Classroom presentations
Extra-curricular activities inside schools
Youth camps
Posters and other display materials

What is exceptional or unique about this ESD initiative:
The CLEAN-India programme is innovative as it involves children as the prime agents of change. Being community-based it helps the community understand local issues and take steps to improve their local conditions.
The Clean-India programme addresses the three dimensions of Education for Sustainable Development

Social – where  the school children and through them, the community, are sensitized and empowered through reliable information, tools and products to undertake improvement action with minimal external support

Environmental – where improvement action results in cleaner and healthier surroundings
 Economic – where improvement action provides income g·enerating opportunities to poorer and underprivileged sections of society; and is extremely cost effective due to public participation

The environmental leadership comes from the children who motivate their friends, families and communities to take action in their homes, schools towns and cities. This process has established a meaningful connection between learning and skills. The key focus for action is at the local level involving all the stakeholders –- school students, communities, NGOs and local civic and government bodies. The project has equipped the “Kurinji” women Self Help Group and the rag pickers for sustainable livelihoods. And finally it has been able to win hearts and minds and motivate people to take action at the personal level.

Visually interesting places, people or activities/events that can be filmed in this project:

Locations: Colonies in Dindigul and Sagar, schools in Delhi

Dindigul: Women self help group from R.M.Colony, Teachers and students from M.S.P.Solai Nadar Memorial School, Gandhigram trust , the vermi- composting sites, houses adopting city farming

Sagar: Colonies adopting waste management system, residents of the colonies, the rag pickers, Rural Environment Development Society, Local government and municipality officials

Delhi: Students, teachers and principals from Presentation convent and Sanskriti school