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Plastic ban in Maharashtra has put back the issue of ‘Solid Waste Management’ in the centre stage yet again. The monsoons are a grim reminder of what mis-management of solid waste can do to our cities and towns in India. The financial capital of the country- Mumbai witnesses’ tons of waste getting thrown back onto the land by the sea during this time. The ‘use and throw’ disposable culture is making matters even worse. Many cities already have garbage crisis with trash spilling onto the streets. Much of the problems of solid waste management is due to lack of awareness. Subsequent to the article that appeared on the September, 2017 issue of Clean India Journal, ‘WASH Strategies of Schools- What is and what can be?’ (https://www.cleanindiajournal.com/wash-strategies-of-schools-what-is-and-what-can-be/ – a research study conducted by Sociotech Innovation4Change, it has been found that sanitation and waste management has been relegated to the background and does not find a place in school curriculums. To fill this lacuna, the team at Sociotech Innovation4Change has brought out a contemporary learning workbook called ‘The Waste Issue’, that students will enjoy learning from. The aim of the book is not just to introduce the concepts and educate, but also create thinkers and competent leaders who can bring Solid Waste Management to the forefront of the nation.

The foreword of the book has been written by the eminent environmentalist and scientist, Prof. T. V Ramachandra, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The book has been a combined effort of Sti4Change Founder & Research Director – Sangeeta Venkatesh, Civil engineer & Educational specialist – Padma Shastry, Student editor, Nivedita Rathaur and graphic artist Anjali Shastry.

Throughout the book, the mascot Wriggly- the Earthworm comes to life with myriads of emotions and takes the reader on an interesting and important journey of understanding waste. Moreover, the contents of the book have been designed keeping in mind that lessons in waste need not be preachy & monotonous.

Each topic in the book has an activity that goes with it. The activities include some knowledge of history, geography, a school audit, story-telling, poetry, music, puzzles, and some Do-it-yourself activities.  Case-studies have been presented to encourage young minds to debate and come up with their own views and solutions. As finale students are encouraged to have a totally ‘green’ event in their campus. So the book is a tool that can be handled by any teacher and you can adapt your own activities that are suitable.

More details about the book can be obtained on the website www.sti4change.com

Sangeeta Venkatesh, Research Director, Sociotech Innovation4Change

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