From eco-friendly pens made out of old newspapers and stools fashioned out of plastic bottles to hi-tech garbage bins fitted with sensors, smart irrigation systems and vehicles that run on Acetylene … Over 20 teams of students from city schools put on their thinking caps to design localised solutions for civic and environmental issues as part of the Bengaluru Civic Fest here on Tuesday.
Organised jointly by Bengaluru-based not-for-profit Janaagraha and Cisco, 25 solutions to a variety of topics were showcased on the concluding day of the event. Between August and December 2019, over 14,000 students of classes 6 to 12 from across India took part in the event through the IChangeMyCity Challenge portal co-created by Cisco. Of this, 25 projects were shortlisted to be showcased in the event.
Students of St Joseph’s Boys High School designed a ‘prototype alternative fuel’ made of acetylene, which they said is not only cost-effective but cleaner. Students of Kamala Bai Educational Institutions showcased a ‘smart irrigation system’ which aims to reduce water wastage and store rainater.
Idea from broken dustbin
Khushi K Patel, 16, from Srinidhi Public School said, “We got the idea to make eco-friendly dustbins out of unused newspapers when the waste bin in our class broke and we didn’t want to replace it with more plastic. Soon we realised that pens also contribute to most of the plastic being used in schools and we made eco-friendly pens from old newspapers.”
“In Bengaluru, buildings are located way too close to each other while many kitchens in smaller homes are tiny. There were two fire accidents in my locality itself last month,” said Syed Akbar, a student of class 9 at Blossom Public School whose team designed a low-cost fire extinguisher for homes.
Students of SJR Kengeri Public School designed a hi-tech dustbin which sends out alerts if garbage is not segregated at source.