Did you know that there is a subject on waste management? Known as ‘garbology’, this study is about how to bring about behavioural changes in order to ensure a litter free environment. And Pondicherry in Tami Nadu is taking the initiative in this fascinating subject.
Garbology uses colouring books, board games & activity-based learning to drive long-term behavioural change among school students, especially with regard to consumption & waste management. Participating in relief work in coastal Tamil Nadu after the devastating tsunami of 2004, Chandrah Nusselein found that a lack of awareness about proper waste management techniques. In 2009, with her brother Ribhu Vohra, she organised the ‘Litter Free Auroville’ campaign. Over 2000 residents joined the clean-up drive and students of 17 local schools received educational material on waste management. Schools loved the program and most came back to her, asking that she develop material which can be made a part of the regular curriculum. And six months of educating the children showed fantastic results - students were not only adopting newly-learned behaviour themselves, but were also trying to change the consumption and waste disposal behaviour of their families.
Today, the siblings have founded their own NGO – WasteLess India and Garbology currently reaches 32,000 students in 37 private and aided schools in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Pondicherry, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. Now this is what we call serious education!