“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for future.”
– Malcolm X

Catch them young is an old phrase but it really works when it comes to changing behaviours of youth and ensuring that they sustain it themselves and influence others as well. Sashakt Foundation visited Delhi Public School, Bopal, Ahmedabad to engage young minds on the issue of urban waste management and responsibility of ordinary citizens towards it.

The school principal Mr. Surender Sachdeva along with Ms. Vandana Joshi, Sr. Vice Principal and Neera Pandey, Vice Principal were all very excited about the waste management initiatives of Sashakt Foundation. Vibhu Rakesh from Sashakt Foundation took them through his own journey and explained how young people can contribute to such efforts.

Students from class X were taken through an in-classroom session exposing them to vital issues concerning ecology and sustainable living. Vibhu explained how their actions could determine the future of mankind. The children were very attentive and everyone actively participated in the discussion. They showed great interest and shared the knowledge they have about waste management. They listed down various problems around waste and even showed curiosity to find out ways of managing it. They even probed to know as to how behaviour change can be initiated among people. The students came up with the concept of 3 R’s, compost and many other things that hinted towards students’ awareness and willingness to improve the environmental conditions in India.

Ms. Vandana Joshi, Sr. Vice Principal said, “Being an avid green warrior myself, I appreciate the kind of work your foundation is doing for the society. At my level, I am definitely going to try and reach out to more people and spread awareness about this issue.” The Vice Principal also expressed her views saying, “I am glad that students are going to get exposed to one of the real issues of the nation. It would be really good for them to get knowledge and experience beyond books. I would love to hold sessions for the kids as well.”

With great enthusiasm, children discussed all the possible ways by which their school can be made a green school and set an example for other schools. The activities for water conservation, environment conservation, e-waste drives, and the likes were discussed and received significant inputs from the students.

The children actually gave meaning to the age old saying, ‘Charity begins at home’ by resolving to share the information with their families and tell them to follow waste segregation at home. The meeting with the children was encouraging and it surely gave a sense of satisfaction to see young responsible citizens of the country.