Environmental education in action: rubbish collection campaign organised by Indian schools

Nothing is more eye opening than direct confrontation with the issue of litter

During the course of her project trip, the Greenfinity Foundation Chairwoman, Stephanie Adler-Fürntrath decided to implement a rubbish collection campaign involving the pupils from 3 Indian schools.  For many, the idea that somone shouldn't simply throw rubbish into the street was a new one - for most it was the first time that they had ever travelled out of their district.

The idea that the environment should be protected and that rubbish should not simply be thrown into the street, or rather should not be disposed of in this way, does not exist in India at all.  In a reality where rubbish litters the streets and pollutes nature is simply part of everyday life.  Thus it simply isn't perceived as a nuisance as they simply don't know it to be any different.  To raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection, the Greenfinity Foundation has made it their mission to bring the topic to life.  Campaign days, such as rubbish collection campaigns, should support this idea.

Umweltverschmutzug in Indien
Umweltverschmutzug in Indien

Their first time in the great outdoors: trip to Corbett National Park

On 19th April 2018, our charitable organisation's board representative, Stephanie Adler-Fürntrath, set off for Corbett National Park in Northern India with 50 children from 3 Indian schools.  For many of the children it was exciting enough to be leaving the confines of their home town.

Those who have only ever lived in a cramped, dirty city, cannot be aware of the beauty of nature and thus appreciate it accordingly.  Not only that, but these people also have no desire to protect this ecological treasure. So this was the thinking behind the trip: The children should appreciate the importance of nature's role as a habitat, thanks to its woods and green spaces.

Raise awareness: Litter belongs in the bin

The second goal of the trip was to confront the children with the consequences of man-made environmental pollution.  In the Indian Corbett National Park, this is a little easier than in a huge, dusty city - the children notice straight away that the rubbish has no place in the great outdoors.  At home, the contrast is not so visible as litter is simply part of the big city picture and thus they cannot really perceive the situation as being negative. 

Müllsammelaktion Indien

Environmental protection in action: Rubbish collection campaign

Learning by doing.  These memories stick.  So the pupils combed the park for a few hours and collected as much rubbish as they were able.  Sadly, they did not need to go far within the national park to find an area which was in need of clearing.

Bewusstsein schaffen in Indien: Müll gehört nicht in die Natur
Bewusstsein schaffen in Indien: Müll gehört nicht in die Natur

Collect rubbish, don't burn it

The rubbish collection campaign should become a compulsory part of the school day and should be included in the environmental education curriculum at the 'Dhara Children Academy' in particular, one of the first environmental educational establishments in India. 

Rubbish disposal currently consists of pushing the debris into the street and setting light to it.  At the school, however, the rubbish is collected, sorted and then recycled or disposed of.  The children will learn how to dispose of the rubbish correctly and will, in turn, pass this knowledge on to their families and friends. In this way, we can raise awareness of conscientious rubbish disposal techniques.

Project Goals:

  • Appreciate nature and the environment
  • Raise awareness
  • Show people how to look after the environment and apply this knowledge to everyday, practical tasks

 

Project Period:

  • April 2018