The students of GHS Hiranwali, Punjab -- a partner government school under the Satya Bharti Quality Support Program of Bharti Foundation bagged a position in the Design for Change – UNICEF YuWaah Youth Challenge top 30 most inspiring ideas of change.
The YuWaah Youth Challenge seeks to inculcate social innovation and problem solving in young people as a part of experience-based learning and developing skills in students and youth which will help them in the future. Niti Aayog GoI, Atal Innovation Mission, YuWaah, Generation Unlimited, UNICEF and Civic Response Team are the knowledge partners and supporters of this initiative.
Students of GHS Hiranwali noticed that the health and well-being of stray animals and birds were affected owing to bad summer weather. People were also confined to their home during the Covid -19 induced lockdown, making it further difficult for stay animals and birds to feed on the leftovers. This was an alarming call to the extent of endangerment of the species, which in turn, could also trigger an environmental impact. To address the issue, students came up with a replicable and scalable four-step solution which was environment-friendly and economical at the same time.
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They build ditches with water, hanged food and water pots on the trees, utilized leftover food items/peels of fruits and vegetables as animal feed, also involved the community members and animal welfare institutions for guidance.
This resulted in a cleaner neighborhood since locals stopped littering the streets with the edible leftovers. The initial preparation of the project took about 15-30 days where the entire local community, Panchayat members, shopkeepers, safai karamchaaris and parents of the students participated enthusiastically. Animal welfare association was also involved to show the impact of the model and ensure replicability in the other villages.
Initiatives like these are results of implementation of good practices, structured whole-school approach through co-scholastic activities defined under the Satya Bharti Quality Support Program’s four pillars: teachers’ empowerment, student empowerment, stakeholder engagement, and school environment improvement. Bharti Foundation encourages and facilitates schools to work on improving facilities by using available Government schemes and grants, actively engaging students, parents and the community to optimize the use of existing infrastructure and facilities. Similarly, special attention and guidance is provided to students to ideate, initiate and implement environment friendly projects, keeping the global climate scenario as base. The Foundation also steps in with support at critical times by renovating toilets, improving libraries, etc.
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