RCE Delhi-2015

1. Project Title: 
“Green Centres – Hamari Pathshala”- a TERI – LBCT initiative
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Other (please clarify) : 
with focus on waste management, water conservation issues and build capacity on use of renewable energy sources like solar energy and importance of health, hygiene and sanitation
3. Project partner contact information : 
National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi
Trainers for hands on activities
Main Contact: 
Asha Bhatacharya
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

A base line study was conducted in the 2 identified villages of Haryana on 4 parameters viz water, waste, energy and sanitation at both the community and school level. As per the results, TERI proposed “Green Centres – Hamari Pathshala”- a TERI – LBCT initiative. This project aims to inculcate awareness and a sense of responsibility among the student and Self Help Group (SHG) members about waste management, water conservation issues and build capacity on use of renewable energy sources like solar energy and importance of health, hygiene and sanitation.

The project aspires to help students look towards making the school premises green and sustainable. This was made through workshops, interactive sessions, field visits, hands-on-activities, competitions and setting up of infrastructure. students of the school were trained on the four core issues and provided with hands on and vocational training. The project believes in the theory of behavioral learning i.e learning by doing. Although training sessions were conducted, they were always backed by hands- on activities, games and documentaries. Students were exposed to various professional set ups such as JCB factory so that they can opt for further studies in case they develop interest in the particular area. The project was designed in a way that it provides exposure to students on environmental issues. They were taken to Yamuna Biodiversity Park, Sulabh International Centre and TERI Gram which in turn strengthens their capacity towards the issue of Solid Waste Management, Energy and other environmental concerns.

Similarly, Self Help Group (SHG) members were trained to acquire skills to deal with dry waste such as paper mache training, training in art and craft using waste material, plastic and tin painting and training on Madhubani art. They were also trained to manage wet waste with the help of composting. Energy conservation and emphasis on renewable sources of energy was another focal issue of the project. The members were made aware about solar technology and were taken to National Institute of Solar Energy for better understanding of the concept. They received training on making solar cookers which are sustainable for their day-to-day activities. In order to promote healthy eating habits among the community the project focuses on giving tips about healthy food in its training sessions. In the run up for one of the events, a healthy food cooking competition was held. The winner got the opportunity to provide catering service in the particular event. The project inculcates the habit of washing hands before eating and cooking food, and after using toilet. This being constantly reminded to the members and then, communicated by them to their family members and friends make a ripple effect. This in turn helped in enhancing the health standards of the entire community. In order to present case studies of successful initiatives of other SHGs and to motivate them to start their own initiatives as a group, visits to small scale units and handicraft exhibitions were conducted. These visits help them to observe other such spaces and reflect on their own. While some activities, such as Baithak, wall painting, etc. were organized in order to reach out to the entire community. As a result, local residents directly or indirectly benefit from the project.

The project had two components- SHG and school, which means a wide range between the ages of beneficiaries. Students of age ranging from 3- 9 years become a challenge since they are too small to understand the complexities of environmental concerns. In order to overcome this problem, the team has devised modules, games such as jigsaw, ludo, snake and ladder, Chinese checkers, team building games, and interactive sessions for students. (A copy of Ludo game, hand book for students and monitoring diary for SHG members on four issues are attached)

Another major challenge is the stereotypes and myths prevalent in the community. One such example is the stigma attached to regular bathing. It is belief by the community that that a woman bathe regularly only when she has had sexual intercourse. Myths like these act as barriers in maintaining bodily hygiene. The team worked to break this stigma in order to imbibe habits of cleanliness and sanitation.

Scarcity of water as well as availability of poor quality water also proves to be a major barrier. Water is the basic necessity of every human being and scarcity of the same raises the problem of personal sanitation, cleanliness of the surrounding, food, etc. which ultimately lead to poor health. Community members lack a zest to take initiative and keep blaming the authorities for the same. The project through various activities builds the capacity of the people to take initiatives on their own. It also encourages students to take initiative in order to change/ better their environment through programmes like dream project where students have to dream of a healthy and sustainable environment and put the idea into implementation.

The villages selected for the project have different socio- cultural backgrounds. One is a Hindu dominated region while other is Muslim dominated. It becomes difficult to get them together. However, in some of the programmes like teachers’ training, sanitary staff training, and exposure visits of the SHG members, emphasis is given to group them together. Also the community members were invited together on various platforms organized by TERI as part of the project.

6. Project status
The Educating Youth for Sustainable Development (EYSD) Division had conducted similar projects with different sponsors in past such as with Delhi Jal Board where 5 SHG groups were formed in Delhi; DST in Assam; Accenture which spread across 6 cities in India. The experience was used to design this project. In this project vision was shared with sponsors (Lady Bamford Charitable Trust – CSR wing of J C Bamford India Ltd) to make these two villages model in terms of sustainable development and the project was successfully completed (Oct 2013 – Dec 2014).
So far as part of the project, this has been achieved in school:
• Total of upto 630 people (upto 20 teachers, 600 school students and 10 school staff) were directly targeted through the project.
• The health status of the students was studied/ analyzed and was used as a parameter to evaluate the impact of the awareness on health related issues.
• Hands on activities and educational exposure trips helped in building capacity of students.
• The sessions for the support staff helped in building their capacities towards health and sanitation and waste management. Some of the members have started using safety gadget kits and have felt the difference.

The following has been achieved for SHGs:
• 30 members from Devli and 40 from Ladiapur were targeted.
• The sessions helped in building the capacities of the members by empowering them with basic knowledge about the four core issues.
• They got a platform to interact directly with the experts and put their queries forward.
• The health status of the SHG members studied/ analysed were used as a parameter to evaluate the impact of the awareness on health related issues.
Lesson from the project that may be useful for other urban projects – empowering women on various issues – from water conservation to waste management and also livelihood enhancement avenues and activities trickles back into the community and leads to positive impact which could also be replicated.
8. Tagging