Plastic Free IIT Kgp

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well, now..
This one is something that come to our minds.

If it is that Chandigarh can be plastic free, when not IIT Kharagpur?!
So, well.. that means, that it can be; and we embark on the mission to do so. The approach that we looked at was simple:
- Permanent ban on use of all plastic bags and polythenes etc.
- Availability of alternatives (jute / paper / cloth bags) which would be within the price point of the shop keepers
- A one-time cleaning of the campus of all the plastic that is there, by the form a collection drive.

Kind of simple enough. The institute has put into place a ban of sorts on the place. Some of our work done. We have to ensure that it lasts.
Availability of alternatives 'within the purchasing power of shop keepers' is the main issue. To curtail this cost, we are exploring the area of sponsorship and CSR of companies, where in the company will get their logos on the bags and hence the cost gets subsidized.
A one time cleaning and collection drive is also in place. Rough plans drawn up with the help of the superintendent engineer at the Civil Works and Maintenance Department at IIT Kharagpur.

For supply of the alternatives, we are looking at partnering with NGOs. This will lead to dual benefits, with the NGO generating revenue as well as environmental benefit.

Currently in the phase of implementation, will post progress soon :)


Posted by Johny-walker at 1:59 PM 1 comments  


Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sal business didn't work out. A million reasons. But the end of story is that it didn't. Some mistakes on our part, some cat-fights among the didis, and the whole structure came falling down. We have now set up the Rabindrapalli didis with an agarbatti making business, where they buy raw material for agarbattis from a local guy for Rs. 200/- process it into around 1400 agarbattis and sell them to him for Rs.220/-. 

We plan to sell the Pattal molding machine and return the money to those who invested in this idea. The two sewing machines are with Kajal kaki and Dolly di. They want it and have accepted to pay Rs. 200 /- per month for 18 months. Due to the initial hiccups with the agarbatti business,we haven't been able to collect the money yet. 

Regarding our future plans, we are going to ensure admission of some kids who we've seen working at Chheddis, PD, Eggies,HJB canteen, etc. into Gopali or some other school. We've made a list of these kids. We intend to put up notices, etc asking people to report if they find cases of child labor elsewhere. The yearly expense of enrolling a kid into Gopali is Rs 7200 per year, which is expected to increase to Rs 10000 per year soon. We'll be contacting as many friends as we can to contribute to these expenses.

We will be setting up a database that will contain information about the kids and donors, in order to ensure that future Jagruti members are able to contact them and take updates regularly.

The biggest hurdle with the child labor issue is convincing the child himself/herself and his/her family. I hope we go about it properly.

Posted by Wild Child at 2:27 AM 1 comments