Two young high school students Aniruddha Voruganti and Nishant Panicker of National Public School, Koramangala Bangalore are making sure every child in a school has a book to write in and doing it sustainably. Their brainchild is called TAGE (Towards A Green Education).
What they do
They make colourful notebooks out of unused pages and donate them to various ill funded government schools while the used pages are recycled. The money made from the recycled paper is used to buy stationery for the children of the government schools. They collect old notebooks from their school by running a continuous collection drive and from residential areas by going door to door.
The idea and inception
“The idea” says Nishant “is simple yet effective.” The source of the raw material being the residences and schools encourages simple community initiatives that go a long way in making a change. They feel that lack of basic resources like books and pens hinders so many students’ motivation and potential. Along with the supplies they hope that their regular interaction and mentoring with the kids will motivate them too.
The reception and numbers
They have been working for a year and have generated more than 3000 kilos of paper to make notebooks. One of the schools they make their visit to is Kannada Higher Primary School Hebbal in collaboration with Akshara Foundation.
Hurdles and hopes
Nishant feels that they haven’t yet coined an effective way to bring in more participation from residential areas other than going door to door. They have also tried to spread this initiative from their school, National Public School Koramangala to all its sister schools and Shishu Graha, Bangalore. The initiative has been integrated with the school’s Eco club. The organizational body will continue to have elected heads each year.
What’s most important is that the initiative continues. Though we do need more volunteers it is not too much of a labour or time intensive process”, says Nishant. “When it comes to the children, we know that the provision of supplies is not everything. Many kids work in garages, some are refugees. Not all attend classes often. Once we have developed this continuous support system for the school we hope to help them holistically.”