A school in India has found a way to allow more children to enroll in its classes: youngsters from struggling families can now bring recyclables to school instead of paying tuition.
Founders of the Akshar School in the northeastern Indian state of Assam are aware many families collect waste from local landfills. The material, much of it plastics, is burned in the colder seaons to keep warm. Toxic fumes have often filled the classroom, recall Parmita Sarma and Mazin Mukhtar.
Recently, the duo stated to teach students about the health risks of this practice. Also, they are encouraging youngsters who have trouble paying the annual fees to bring plastic waste to school for recycling.
Some kids – aged 5 to 15 – are now bringing in shopping bags full of plastic bottles and other packaging every week. The unique approach has made education a reality for a lot of underprivileged kids in the area.
Akshar School is loacted in Guwahati, the largest city in Assam with a population of over 950 000 people. The recycling initiative is being enthusiastically supported by locals, who help the kids collect at least 25 plastic waste items every week.