A group of six girls from a government-run school in Madhya Pradesh’s Gautampura, have started a drive to make the town free from non-biodegradable plastic waste.
The group– Asha, Aarti, Lalita, Khusbhu, Shreyanshi and Titina– all students of Class 6 of the Government Middle Girls School and age between 12 and 14 years, visit tea stalls across the town requesting owners to use paper cups or glass tumblers to serve tea or coffee instead plastic disposable cups.
The girls are educating people about the ill effects of plastic disposable cups on environment, says Asha, 12, one of the members of the group.
“We realized that unless we act fast against the use of plastic–one the major pollutants in the town–the situation will get worse so we started the campaign from tea stalls, which use most plastic disposable tea cups,” she says.
“Customers after drinking the tea discard the plastic cups without any regard to the ill effects to the environment.”
She further says that the group is not only asking people and tea vendors to use paper cups, they are educating residents about the ill effects of use of plastic.
“When we carry any hot eatables in plastic containers, chances of cancer causing agent mixing with the food increase many folds,” she says.
Asha says that every day after school the group visits different markets in the town along with hand written pamphlets, asking tea stall owners to stop using plastic disposables cups and instead use paper cups.
“We stick pamphlets at stalls to educate people about the ill effect of plastic disposables on their health. Initially a few tea stall owners were reluctant to support the initiative, but now they have started supporting us,” she says.
“The drive has caught on with customers having started asking tea stall owners to serve them tea either in glass tumblers or paper cups and we are confident that our hard work will pay off. “
Chetan Bhawsar, Gautampura Nagar panchayat chief appreciates the school girls’ efforts. “This generation is our future, and with girls like these already dedicated to bringing about a positive change, our future is in safe hands,” he says.