E-waste program launched in Dimapur

E-waste program launched in Dimapur
Joshua Thiek with the trainee teachers from nine Dimapur schools after the training program on August 6. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 9/6/2018 11:54:52 AM IST

India is the fourth largest producer of e-waste in the world but it recycles less than 2 percent of its e-waste (electronic waste). Over 95 percent of the e-waste is handled by informal recyclers using unscientific methods. Four to five lakh child laborers are also engaged in various e-waste activities in the informal sector, exposing themselves to various diseases.

Speaking to teachers from nine Dimapur schools at Spring Valley School, Chekiye on Thursday, zonal manager (East) of Karo Sambhav, an e-waste Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), Joshua Thiek made these observations and warned of impending dangers if e-waste was not recycled or handled responsibly. The program was aimed at creating awareness on critical environmental issues and inspiring students to adopt preventive environmental strategies.

Outlining the e-waste Management Rules of 2016, Thiek said India had a lot to achieve in terms of handling e-waste as compared to developed countries.

Thiek elaborated on the ill-effects of e-waste on the environment and on health. He explained how improper and unsafe treatment and disposal through open burning could pose several environmental hazards such as ground water pollution, acidification of soil and even air pollution. When handled without precaution, it can also cause lung cancer, kidney failure, brain damage asthmatic bronchitis, Thiek added.

Thiek also touched upon key aspects in managing e-wastes, namely: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), where companies and manufactures are responsible for the end-of-use treatment of consumer products; and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), an organization that has the mandate of manufacturers in creating awareness and also engages in the collection of e-waste and other wastes and recycle them responsibly. 

Thiek emphasized on the need to look beyond education as only a means of earning a degree, but to look at it as a way to develop “21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, computational competencies and real-world problem solving, by deploying contemporary pedagogical practices.”

Thiek informed the teachers that that in the initial phase, they would be trained on the specially designed toolkits for the purpose, consisting of seven Modules based on circular economy and understanding waste, including waste from electrical and electronic goods. Teachers will then need to work along with students from their schools on various activities, community projects, and practical field-work. 

Karo Sambhav was founded by Pranshu Singhal who envisioned responsible recycling to become a way of life in India and to promote a cohesive e-waste movement across India by making it possible for people and institutions to responsibly recycle their electronic waste. In the academic year 2017-18, the program engaged more than 1000 schools across 29 states and 2 Union Territories in India.


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