The students of the GHS Hiranwali, Punjab (Bharti Foundation’s partner Government School in Punjab) noticed that the health and well-being of stray animals and birds were affected owing to bad weather conditions and peak summers. With people confined within their houses to prevent the further spreading of the virus, stray animals and birds were not able to find anything to feed on. This was a danger to the extent of endangerment of the species, which in turn, could also trigger an environmental impact.
To address the issue, the students came up with a replicable and scalable four-step solution which was not only environment-friendly but also economical:
The students involved people from the community to scale up their plan. Ditches were dug around the village and community members were encouraged to pour water in them on a regular basis. Make-shift bird feeders were made from reused plastic bottles to encourage recycling. These bottles were filled with grains collected from the locals. Along with these, bottles filled with water were hung on trees at different places throughout the village. In collaboration with the Panchayat, dustbins were placed in front of clusters of houses to collect fruit and vegetable peels and food leftovers. The villagers were encouraged to collect their food residue in these bins, which were fed to the animals, and also resulted in a cleaner neighborhood since locals stopped littering the streets with the edible leftovers.
The initial preparation of the project took about 15-30 days where the entire local community, Panchayat members, shopkeepers, safai karamchaaris and parents of the students participated enthusiastically. Animal welfare associations were also involved to show the model and the impact of the project to ensure replicability in the other villages.
The students of GHS Hiranwali, Punjab, bagged a position in the top 30 most inspiring ideas of change in the Design for Change – UNICEF YuWaah Youth Challenge, which is a platform for recognizing unique and impactful ideas by children across the world.
We congratulate the school and all the students who brought about the transformation they wished to see around them!
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