It is well known that atmospheric greenhouse gases are currently the highest ever in human history. But, slowly but surely, we are thinking of ways to help the environment. Like this Indian school named Akshar, where they charge plastic school fees.
Needless to say, Akshar is unlike any other Indian, or even global, school. The students are asked to bring bags filled with plastic waste every day when they come to school. Mazin Mukhtar, the school’s co-founder recently gave the detail about it to Bored Panda.
He said that the idea came to him and his wife in 2013 when they met each other in New York. The two already had dreams of making a new school especially catering to economically challenged students. In 2016, their dream school started, named Akshar Forum, in Guwahati.
The Logic Behind The Plastic School Fees
The center for recycling was not originally there. It did not have the support of the parents either. So, they thought of the idea of “plastic school fees”, aiming to get the parents’ support. Before that, there were no fees for attending the school anyway. Practically, it is not as much school fees but more like mandatory homework. However, the naming reminds the parents that even if the school is free, they can help everyone by doing this much: sending dry, clean plastic waste from their homes.
He explained that the goal was to make a completely free school that everyone could attend. But they realized that the area was facing a larger ecological and social problem. Toxic fumes would fill classrooms since plastic waste would be regularly burned nearby. It was normal in the area since it would be a source of warmth. Parmita Sharma, another co-founder of Akshar said thus the plastic school fees helped a lot.
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The majority of the students used to work as daily laborers, to help their family’s finances. In the school, they are encouraged to teach younger children. As a reward, they get toy currency which can be exchanged for amenities. The school also makes it a point to educate both the parents and the students about the harm of plastic.
With the education, the students themselves have come up with several innovative technologies to deal with the problems facing them.