The rampant use of plastic products in our daily lives poses a significant threat to environmental equilibrium. However, one NGO, Akshar Foundation from Guwahati is leading the charge in restoring balance through plastic recycling. The foundation, co-founded by Parmita Sarma, has taken a pioneering step by establishing a school in Pamohi, Guwahati, which accepts unused plastic items as student fees.
“We wanted to make the coming generation from underprivileged sections break the circle of poverty and be environmentally sensitive. Education is the only way these goals can be achieved,” Parmita Sarma, the founder of Akshar School, tells The Better India.
The couple, Parmita and Mazin Mukhtar has collected and recycled about 1,200 bottles and 6,43,600 plastic wrappers so far from the school kids. Additionally, the school follows a unique style of education where they place the students in grades as per their academic aptitude and not their age as is done in traditional schools.
To strengthen the bridges being built in the community, the school also offers vocational training. Students are taught how to install solar panels and attend carpentry and electronics workshops, says Muhktar, an African-American who came to India in 2013 from New York to work on a school project in Assam where he met Sarma, a student of social work at Guwahati University. The couple set up Akshar in 2016, raising money to build it and funding from private donors to run it.
From the original 20 students, Akshar now has seven teachers managing 110 children aged from 4 to 15, and a 100-strong waiting list.