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Biryani & more: Kerala school rewards students for collecting plastic waste

NSS volunteers of GVHSS Vaduvanchal in Wayanad, Kerala collecting plastic waste brought by the students as part of the green project. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

A government school in Wayanad, Kerala has grabbed the attention of the nation by implementing a project wherein students are being rewarded with prizes for collecting plastic waste and submitting it to the school.

The Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) at Vaduvanchal in Wayanad has come out with a one-of-its-kind project to foster a sense of environmental responsibility among students and promote a cleaner and greener future. For the last seven weeks, the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of the school has been successfully running the project and the students who bring in plastic waste are given chicken biriyani and other prizes.

“Our initiative encourages students to collect plastic waste from public spaces, turning litter into valuable rewards. The project while sensitising them about the importance of protecting the environment, also helps to keep public areas free of litter,” said GHSS NSS Coordinator Subhash V P.

The students can collect plastic waste from anywhere even from their homes and bring it to the school to win the prizes. As Wayanad district has earned the reputation for being the top district for following best hygiene practices in the country, the school administration decided to implement the project to raise awareness among the younger generation about environmental issues and encourage positive actions to combat this problem.

“Our school has a total strength of 2000 students and around 1000 students are actively participating in the project. The majority of the students are from lower and upper primary sections. The students are encouraged to pick up discarded plastic waste such as bottles, wrappers, and bags. Once they’ve collected a certain quantity, they bring it to the school to get the prizes,” Subhash added.

The prizes are carefully chosen to reinforce the project’s underlying message of environmental protection and sustainability. “As the students venture out in groups after school time, they have requested us to give prizes which they can share with their friends. So we started offering them chicken biriyanis packed in plantain leaves,” he said.

The project has not only instilled a strong sense of camaraderie among the students fostering teamwork and unity as they work towards a common goal but also motivated them to be more conscious about their own plastic usage and actively advocate against plastic usage at their homes and in their communities. “The students have truly embraced the project. Through this project, we are sowing the seeds of a greener and more sustainable future,” said another school teacher.

The model set by the school will serve as an inspiration for other educational institutions and communities to come together in the collective mission of protecting the environment and creating a litter-free world for generations to come.

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