Episode 2: ‘The Waste Issue’ – YouTube Channel

Segregation of waste is simply separating the waste into the appropriate categories so that we can manage our waste effectively. It is the first step in sustainable waste management that prevents waste from going into landfills. When different types of waste are thrown together, the mixed waste is left with no value and its final destination is a landfill, where trash gets dumped outside the city. Can we avoid it? Check out this video. To know more about the issue of Waste, get your own copy of ‘The Waste Issue’. Write to thewasteissue@gmail.com


Every drop counts- An inter-community event in Whitefield, Bangalore; 11th-12th January 2020

A water neutral community

The T-Zed community in Bangalore is well known for a long time for being an ecologically sensitive community. T-Zed is a water-neutral community which means that the water drawn out from the ground is recharged back into it. The community keeps relooking at ways water can be saved. The residents recently held a 2-day event to create awareness about the situation of groundwater in the country and particularly in Bangalore. ‘The Waste Issue‘ was part of the programme too as a participant. Sangeeta Venkatesh, author- ‘The Waste Issue’ was the judge for the 2nd day of events.

Day 1

Day 1 had the water expert Vishwanath Srikantaiah, of the Rainwater club (he is popularly known as ‘Zen Rainman’) was in a conversation with the participants on ‘How to save our borewells from running dry and save our lakes to avoid ground zero..”

Vishwanath stressed that a country has to have ecological literacy, that is the ability to understand the ecosystem, which is a precursor to sustain human communities democratically. Did you know that India, is the largest user of groundwater user and uses more than China? 65 percent of our water consumption comes from groundwater? Moreover, 85 percent of drinking water is from groundwater. He rightly mentioned that water is one substance which touches our lives daily- and as the saying goes- it is everybody’s business. Without it there would be no health, no hygiene and no safe sanitation. It is required for agriculture and basically growth in the economy is directly linked to water and the advent of monsoons.

In Bangalore there are over 10,000 borewells and quite clearly, there is a huge stress on the groundwater. Vishwanath narrated an interesting historical anecdote about how in early days water was sourced from open wells where the level of water was visible and depending upon the quantity people could assess how much to use. However, this stagnant water was also a breeding ground for guinea worms and people who drank this water became infected with the disease Dracunculiasis. The 1960’s were a crucial and defining time for the water situation in the country. Due to the guinea worm menace, the open wells were filled up so that people were prevented from sourcing water from there. In addition, war and drought made the country dependant on the United States for food. To make the country self-sufficient in food the green revolution was launched, but agriculture needed sufficient water. Drilling machines were imported from the United States and thus began the borewell drilling for groundwater. Later, indigenous machines were manufactured in Thiruchengode in Tamil Nadu. Groundwater is invisible and we never know how much there is to control and monitor usage. We also need to know the hard rock geology to test for fluoride, arsenic and other chemicals.

So the obvious solution is that we have to recharge our groundwater and find ways to use wastewater efficiently. There has to be good behaviour as limited withdrawal of water and recharging of borewells.  Piped water also has to be made available to curtail indiscriminate drilling of borewells. Vishwanath delineated solutions that communities could adapt easily. It is events like these where there is dialogue and exchange of ideas which sensitise citizens to the precarious state of the environment we are in and more communities need to come forward and hold dialogues.

Day 2

Day 2 saw the participation of children of various age groups in activities that re-iterated the importance of water and its judicious use. The Ramagondanahalli government school students put up a skit that emphasised the result of water leakages, water wastage and presented a near apocalyptic situation if we are not careful. The painting session and the series of power-point presentations were held simultaneously. Both sessions revealed good participation and a keen maturity as regards to the understanding of water woes and solutions. The presentations ranged from highlighting the condition of lakes and the need to rejuvenate them; the need for waste-water treatment and its efficient reuse; simple doable habits that should be followed by every citizen of the country; and also, responsibilities of resident communities.

The ‘Water’ skit by the students of the government school

It was a tough task to ‘judge’ but there was a lot of merit in the final results. The results were as follows:

Painting competition in progress

Art Prizes:                             Judges: Krati Mishra – Art Educator

                                                          Tamoshi Ghosh – Head Mistress, Kunskapsskolan School

5-7 Years Category

 *1st – Satvi Samanvika

 *2nd – Aarya

 8-10 Years Category

* 1st – Avi Kollari

* 2nd – MM Siddharth

* 3rd – Sumana Das

11-14 Years Category

* 1st – Nivedita Shaine

* 2nd – Kyra Kolluri

* 3rd – Anika

 The Water presentation results were as follows:

1st prize: Khushi and Om – students of Kunskapsskolan School

2nd prize- Young residents of Skylark Green community

3rd prize-  Anu and Rishith- students of Kunskapsskolan School

A section of the audience and the judges

The judges were John Bastian, resident and water expert – T -Zed; Mats Rosen, Head of Kunskapsskolan and Sangeeta Venkatesh, waste management coach and author – ‘The Waste Issue’. Cash prizes were given to the winners that was sponsored by Kunskapsskolan. A copy of ‘The Waste Issue’ was presented to the first prize winners of the ‘Water’ presentation and the copy will be kept in the library of the Kunskapsskolan School.

A presentation in progress
John Bastian, Sangeeta Venkatesh, the winners with ‘The Waste Issue’, Mats Rosen and Tamoshi Ghosh

What’s more – the community were thoughtful in handing out mementos for the judges and guests too. Handmade soaps in the colours of the Tricolour, a Jute bag and yummy laddoos in a reuseable container. Kudos to the volunteers and Bravo T zed!!

Thoughtful ecological sensitive gifts