Mangaluru, Feb 19 2020 DHNS: One cannot miss the presence of two jute sacks hanging from a tree during a visit to the 126-year-old Government Upgraded Higher Primary School at Mudungarukatte in Balepuni Gram Panchayat.
“Plastic wrappers of all shapes, colours and sizes are ubiquitous beside roads, hanging from a tree in our surrounding. To create awareness among schoolchildren on the ill effects of the plastic dumping all over and to urge them to collect the plastic wrappers, two jute sacks have been hung,” said Headmistress Udayakumari to DH.
Messages like, ‘Plastic Vishakari, Parisarakke Apayakari’ (Plastic is harmful to environment) and ‘Plastic Balasadiri, Ondu Vele Balasidalli, Nannalli Haaki” (Don’t use plastic, if you use plastic, dump it inside me) are written on the jute sack bags hung
on the tree in the school.
The students no longer burn plastic wrappers at their houses and also on school premises. Instead, they come out with beautiful handicrafts using plastic wrappers and chocolate wrappers.
The straw collected by the students is tied neatly by a science teacher in the school to show the DNA chain and also on the movement of waves.
The teachers have helped the students to prepare vase, flowers and other decorative items using the plastic trash. The handicrafts are prepared by the children on Saturday.
The school has 185 students pursuing their studies. Whenever they find plastic wrappers and carry bags, they gather them, tie and place them neatly in the jute sacks hung in the school, which are later handed over to the gram panchayat for recycling.
The children in the school are dedicated and work to ensure that no plastic carry bag is thrown in their surroundings. If they find plastic strewn on their school premises or by a road while walking home, they collect and clean it before placing it in a bag, said the headmistress.
Even the Nali Kali classrooms are decked with various handicrafts made of plastic wrappers in the school. In addition, even other classrooms have some of the handicrafts made by the students using plastic waste.
The school has 3.48 acres of land and it has planted 250 fruit-bearing saplings including Badam, cashew, ‘renje’ flowers, kokum under social forestry department. The school has been demanding the gram panchayat to make an arrangement to water these saplings.