They Are Fighting E-Waste And Educating 17,000 Underprivileged Kids In One Go

Waste management is taking a center-stage in all major global forums and a lot is being done to raise awareness. Schools and colleges too are doing their bit to inform the students about the ill-effects of faulty waste management. Keeping the goal in mind, a number of competitions are being held, forcing students to think out-of-the-box on ways to manage different kinds of waste.In one such competition, students of Vibgyor High School, Goregaon -- Soorya Balasubramanian and Trisha Bhattacharya -- came up with an innovative way to manage e-waste. 

What is e-waste?

If you are wondering what exactly e-waste is. Electronic and electrical equipment that have become unfit for their originally intended use or which have crossed the expiry date are called “e-waste”. Computers, servers, mainframes, monitors, CDs, printers, scanners, copiers, calculators, fax machines, battery cells, cellular phones, transceivers, TVs, iPods, medical apparatus, washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioners are examples of e-waste.

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How did they do it?

It all started earlier this year when these young minds had to pick up a cause and had to plan out ways to create awareness. While speaking to TOI, Soorya said, "Our school has initiated several campaigns and we hoped to work on one of these for our competition. Among those, everyone knew about dry and wet waste but a campaign about e-waste hadn't picked any momentum, so we decided to take it up for the competition."

These students who are pretty much aware of the seriousness of the situation that India in spite being among the largest consumer of electronics, most of the Indian population have no clue as to how to dispose of their faulty electronic items. Most of us just end up selling our e-waste to scrap collectors who, uses improper and highly hazardous methods to extract precious metal from it and handling e-waste for profit, which poses a great threat to everyone, including children.

Trisha and Soorya urged their fellow students to donate e-wastes, lying unused in their homes. "Most homes have non-functional cellphones, chargers and other electronic appliances lying around, because we don't know what to do with them, we found a non-profit organization which collected e-waste and sold it to a recycling company. The money raised was used to educate 17000 underprivileged students." said Trisha to TOI. Through this, they managed to collect 180 kgs of e-waste.

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After seeing favorable response, these students decided to pursue this even outside school premises. In last one month, Soorya and Trisha have organized collection drives in number of housing societies in western suburbs. According to them people have been very supportive, they have received e-waste like washing machines, laptop, chargers and mobile phones. So far they have collected over 380 kgs of e-waste from schools and housing societies and have donated to a non-profit organization, IDF which helped them to educate over 17,000 slum children.

e-Waste a ticking time bomb?

Talking about e-waste is very important as it poses as a ticking time bomb. If we continue to dispose the way we usually do that is selling it to scrap dealers, who tend to use crude manners to dismantle and process electronic equipments to recover copper, silver, gold and platinum from it. But in the process substances like liquid crystal, lithium, mercury, nickel, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), selenium, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chrome, cobalt, copper and lead, which toxic and carcinogenic are left exposed to the environment which not only leads to pollution of soil and water can also wreak havoc on the human body.

It's not too late, we too can tie up with NGO's and recycling companies and do this in our societies and offices and make our country and world a safer place to live in.

Picture Source : DowntoEarth; cseindia; youtube

#e-waste #pollution 

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