Devina Buckshee is the Program and Outreach Officer at Safecity. She is a recent MA (hons) graduate of Sociology and International Relations from the University of Edinburgh. She is deeply interested in academic research and public policy, specifically gender mainstreaming and development related work. As an intersectional feminist and writer, she believes in bringing her skills of ethnography, journalism and documentation to give a voice to the people who need it most. In the past, she has worked on projects with refugees in Scotland (http://www.livedprojects.org//, https://refuweegee.co.uk/) and Germany, and with the Godrej India Culture Lab in Mumbai. She is also a huge animal lover and enjoys travelling with her dog Chaos.
Connecting People with Nature- World Environment Day 2017
On World Environment Day, the Teen Bangla community children had a special lesson on environmental awareness and waste management. This included being treated to a class taught by Latha Sankaranarayan, Eco-preneur & Founder, Developmatrix. What followed was a fun crafts activity on recycling waste to create wonderful art!
Our group was a motley bunch, ranging from ages 7 to 15. For the first time in the community so far, the boys outnumbered the girls in the audience. We started with brief introductions by everyone, asking them to name one scientific fact or topic they enjoy, to gauge everyones interest levels. Latha then provided an overview into the environmental situation as it stands today, touching on climate change. One bright girl of 15 years old, Suhana*, spoke about ‘deforestation’ and ‘urbanization’ at length. We watched a short clip of the human impact on our planet. One boy, Roshan*, 8, wisely said that this does not mean all humans are bad to the planet, and we explored some ways in which we could protect Earth. This included suggestions of planting trees and caring for our animals.
After an interesting lesson, the kids were all geared up to do something active. We split some of them into groups pf 2 and 3, while some preferred working alone. We gave each child a chart paper, and some waste materials like old newspapers, plastic cups, straws and bottle caps and told them to create anything they like with it, preferably something related to the environment. This unleashed an ocean of creativity, as we saw brilliant creations like Anand’s* (age 8) rocket piggy bank made from a recycled plastic bottle and Shital’s* (age 11) tree made from broken bangles to name a few. We had fish made from recycled paper and plastic, to scenes of jungle cats and even a robot made from a plastic cup!
The entire event saw the children engage with our environment in thoughtful ways, and we learned to have fun with our lessons too!
*Names have been changed.