Youngsters turn environmentally conscious

Youngsters turn environmentally conscious

What started as an extra-curricular activity in college turned into a hobby for Taha Siddiqui. Back in 2010, when she was studying in Delhi University, she came across the concept called vermi-composting. “I think it made me more conscious about our environment. The concept was introduced in 2004 by Vatavaran, a Delhi based NGO and it continued during my time in college,” says Taha as she exclaims, “When you can use natural manures, where’s the need to introduce chemical fertilizers in your kitchen gardens? 

Vermi-composting is a process in which vegetable and biodegradable waste is thrown into a pit to enhance its natural decomposition by worms. The decomposed waste acts like a manure for the growth of plants. When this process was introduced in the University, huge pits were marked out in the fallow lands. Hostel waste was segregated during the day to carry the biodegradable waste to these pits. “Now, I have started putting all my kitchen waste up in our balcony-pots to initiate this process in our house,” says Taha. She makes sure everybody in the family follows her lead. 

To initiate this process in schools, Pinaki Das Gupta from Indian Youth Climate Network, IYCN, started a dialogue with city-based schools. “The project is a simple composting project with the aim to showcase solutions which can reduce emissions locally. We had undertaken a composting pit in association with the Raisina Bengali School Eco-club as a part of Global Work Party,” says the environmentally conscious Pinaki.  He adds, “The pit is not a vermi-composting but an underground natural composting pit prepared from locally available materials.”

In the meantime, he directs Metrolife towards a project called Khanpost which intends to convert kitchen and shop waste of Khan Market into valuable compost using composting machine. The project hasn’t taken flight owing to the opposition from shopkeepers. According to IYCN’s statistics, Khan Market produces 500 kilos of biodegradable kitchen waste every day.  If it could be converted through composting, it would have produced a lot of organic manure. Though the project failed but it did inspire a few households around the market to try out traditional composting methods in their terrace gardens. 

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