Some of the Environment enthusiasts of YFS Chennai have been meeting regularly to brain storm, discuss and come out with a new approach to solve the ever increasing problem of Waste management in the city and its ill consequences in our daily life!
We met up with the officials of the Solid Waste Management from the Corporation of Chennai to get their understanding on this issue and how we as an organisation could help address it. Our aim was to get segregation of waste done at source and offer simple, practical and doable solutions to the common people with the kitchen, paper & plastic waste.
We realised that before we embark upon a new initiative, we must talk to and get sufficient hands-on knowledge of the solutions we intend to offer to others for practice. We learnt about many success stories and one of them was about Mr Indra Kumar of Home Exnora who has been practicing Zero Waste Management in his home for a very long time. A simple down-to-earth person who is always willing to share his wealth of knowledge to anyone with interest to keep the environment clean and green. But all that he expects from us is to be Punctual as he feels time must not be taken for granted! A good lesson learnt by all of us and esp those who turned up late!!
Our volunteer Vishesh Jain has shared his experience after the visit to Mr Indra Kumar’s home on 19th Nov.
We visited the residence of the internationally renowned creator of Home Exnora, Mr. Indrakumar,at Shankar Nagar, Pammal, as a part of our Environment-Solid waste disposal management programme, where we will work with the Government in educating the residents of Chennai on the importance of waste segregation (into wet and dry) and coming up with a plan to recycle/dispose the different kinds of waste in an appropriate manner.
His home is a zero-waste home, where everything from solid kitchen waste to wastewater is put to good use. The visit was an eye-opener, to say the least, where we learnt much more than came to.
When he realized that tannery effluents were polluting his groundwater, this ingenious environmentalist created a freshwater table around his house, which takes in all the flooded rainwater from the street, and acts as a natural filter to the tannery wastewater.
An Unforgettable trip to Burugguputtu: May 20-May23, 2011
In our quest to understanding different cultures, Anil and I set out to spend some time with Vanavaasis of the Eastern Ghat Region in the Visakhapatnam District. 109 Kms from Vizag City, Burugguputtu is a remote Tribal Hamlet set amongst rolling meadows and a mountainous backdrop.
Vanavaasi Kalyan Aashram organized this trip for us and we are indebted to Sudhakar Ji, Vanavaasi Kalyan Aashram Eastern AP Pramukh who took time off his punishing schedule to accompany us for a day at the tribal Hamlet.
Vanavaasi Kalyaan Seva Kendra is an Organization rendering a yeoman service to our not to privileged brethren dwelling in the forests.
The Mission of the Organization was simple – to let our Vanvaasi Brethern feel one amongst us and contribute to the cause of Nation Building. What Anil and I were going to be doing was to spend some time at the tribal hamlets, mingle with them, understand their aspirations in life and hear them speak about their perspectives about a lot of things – Governance, Education, Healthcare, the threat of Christian Missionaries and so on.
We’d arrived at Vizag on Thursday (20th May) and met Sudhakar ji in the afternoon. Sudhakar Ji is one of those folks with whom you connect almost instantly. In no time did we feel that SudhakarJi was a familiar person and we were talking on range of subjects – Politics, Nationalism, RSS, Tribal Welfare, Life of an Average Vanvaasi and so on. Sudhakar Ji was eloquent and his surefootedness was inspiring.
We woke up to a wet Friday morning. We had plans to start by 9AM so that we could reach Paderu by lunch time. We had to delay our program by a couple of hours, owing to rains.
Nevertheless, We started at 1130 hours after the rains had subsided. Overnight Rains had changed the landscape into a lush, green kaleidoscope that was a treat to the eyes. We soaked up those sights with our camera.
VANAYATHRA TO ACHAMPET
Sunday April 4th, 2010 was memorable for fifteen of us. We had a beautiful trip to a tribal school in Achampet, a small village 100kms from Hyderabad. The school had scheduled its Annual Day on that day and we wanted to attend the function. We were a group of software engineers from different IT companies who wanted to give a bit of our time to the society. In spite of our diverse backgrounds, we all have a common goal— to work for the society and we chose to help the most neglected people of the society …tribal children. We started in the early morning in a tempo and 5 member group in their own car and had great time during the journey too. We played quizzes, sang songs and played some innovative games that made our journey a lot of fun.
We first had Darshan at SriSailam before leaving for Achampet. When we reached the Achampet tribal school, we had a warm welcome. These men who welcomed us have dedicated their whole lives for the development and the upliftment of the tribal people. We were just amazed with the warm welcome. The School has 40 primary school children and 16 higher secondary school children who all are taught free and with free accommodation. In a meeting with the volunteers, Prof. Rawat from IIIT Hyderabad asked whether Government gives any aid to the school and the volunteers replied that Government aid is unreliable, so they prefer private donations and volunteer help.
The function started on time at 6.00PM evening and the little, innocent children started with a patriotic song. These little children performed some of the tribal traditional arts like kolata (the one shown in “radha kaise na jale song in Lagaan movie”) & chekkabajana that are getting obsolete for many reasons. We were fortunate enough to see two young archers aiming at the homemade archery target with great accuracy and strength. These two youngsters represented Andhra Pradesh in the State level competitions. Some of us tried our hand with the bow as well, but failed miserably
Later, the children did the pyramid type gymnastics and some of the difficult Yoga postures. It was dark in the evening at 7PM and there was a sudden power cut and it was pitch dark. The children neither feared nor got disturbed but continued the show with full confidence and the discipline during that time. We were amazed by their attitude. In the invitees list, there was a doctor who is in his mid 40s and we were told he was the 1st doctor from their tribe. We were surprised that our nation that has so many medical colleges generating lakhs of doctors was just able to get 1 doctor till today from this tribe. Some of the other factors were also shocking to many of us. Life expectancy of the tribe is just 23 years when the country claims the average Indian age is >65years. No surprise that this tribe’s population has dropped from 25 lakhs to 25,000. Now the school with the help of donations is providing medical facility too. Many school children have not seen a television or a train yet. That was really surprising and the school management asked us to make frequent visits and invite them to the city to bring awareness to the children.
Youth for Seva hopes to conduct more such trips, connect the youth of our society back to the roots and contribute in every possible way.
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