Recycling, Litter and the Environment

7th July 2015

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Oscar 4 packed their overnight bags and departed to various villagers’ houses for the night because we have arranged home stay for the team. Dinner and breakfast was in abundance and all groups felt thoroughly welcomed.

The home stay experience allows individuals to understand and see firsthand how a traditional family dynamic in the community is. The teams found that most generations live all under one roof, food is always prepared by the females of the  household, guests must eat first (with right hand), shoes off always before entering the house as well as many other cultural differences to which all embraced with interest.

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The following day Oscar 4 implemented Community Action Day for the village with the theme of Recycling, Litter and the Environment. Informative and advertising posters were made by reusing old ones, decorations made from food packets and games constructed from plastic bottles, found wire and potatoes. The stalls raised awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling within the community; showing the potentials of reuse with the games, why they shouldn’t use plastic bags (or reuse the ones they have) and also showed off the great masterpieces the children created at our weekly art club. Stalls also included a ‘Make Do and Mend’ stall where Emily and Cari spent the day mending the teams’ ripped clothes and attaching lost buttons. Showing the onlookers that repairing clothes is not as hard as you think!

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The villagers’ and children enjoyed the recycled rice sack race and also the successful litter picking event which took place in the afternoon. Over 35 children got involved, collecting over 10 bags of rubbish, plastic bottles and aluminium for recycling. The village not only looks greater for this event but hopefully the change of attitudes regarding littering and recycling will stay. However, the team felt that the action day was mostly enjoyed by the youth of the village so arranged a successful evening meeting to explain in more detail to the men and women of Megaladoddi about reducing, reusing and recycling. A local shop owner, John, did a fantastic speech about the importance of bag reuse and plastic bottle recycling. The team designed posters for all shops to stick up as a reminder for the villagers. One volunteer, Daeo, enjoyed the day so much he said he wanted to raise similar awareness of litter in his own village after the project finishes.

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Our new Self Help Group, Maria, is also making great progress with 18 members already saving 950 INR in two weeks. They are finalising forms for the group to be registered with the local Gran Panchayat to receive further support and loan benefits. The ladies are also taking part in a candle making course thanks to the teams’ interaction with their project partner; A fantastic success for the women of the community.

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Oscar 4 have finished all initial construction for the toilets and after showing other families how to complete the forms and gather correct paper work, visited the Talluk Panchayat to submit applications under the Total Sanitation Scheme. Therefore, all households in Megaladoddi have or will be building a toilet by the end of the 10 weeks the team will be working here. The team have also witnessed a number of broken toilets, an issue that will be addresses and fixed for the teams Secondary Project.

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Street dramas were a success with the group performing a number of skits showing how illness is spread, why you should use a toiler and why you shouldn’t litter. The team also enjoyed the weekly Kannada language sessions and presentations about Prejudice, Human Rights and Gender Discrimination issues.