Published: 19th May 2021
Waste not, want not will be your mantra after you attend the workshops by this 29-year-old from Vijayawada
Kavya Sindhuja from Vijayawada works on waste management issues like her life depends upon it. Workshops are her way to make you more aware of this concern as well so that you can do your bit too
While pursuing the Young India Fellowship with Ashoka University in 2016, Kavya Sindhuja volunteered to work on a landfill in Sonipat, Haryana. But it was not until she actually encountered it that she realised the task she had taken on. "It was a major shock for me that something that looked like a hillock turned out to be a landfill. I had just started to understand that the waste you and I generate is making life miserable for others," confesses the 29-year-old. It is at this point, she believes, that her relationship with waste management began. But before she could embark on the journey, she took another pitstop to learn more about it in the form of a fellowship with Sustainable Living with Bhoomi College, Bengaluru, including working with the Solid Waste Management Round Table, a public collective, where she continues to work part-time and remotely. It was here (Bhoomi) that she conducted her first workshop, a basic framework for creating public awareness on waste management. After she returned to Vijayawada, she knew that she needed to develop the model further to work on waste management while still being financially stable. That's how Earth Sitters came to be in February this year.
Happy Kavya | (Pic: Earth Sitters)
Kavya successfully conducted the workshop at Vidyardhi Hostel in February 2021 and Chukkapalli High School in March 2021 but the lockdown compelled her to conduct these workshops online, which she is using to her advantage. This brings us to the foremost point that makes Kavya's workshops stand out.
It was while watching an episode of Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate on waste management that she became more aware of the issue
"I noticed that people were taking one-hour awareness sessions on sustainability, but I really wanted people to put their words into action. The thing with sustainability is, until and unless you put it into practice, you won't encounter challenges and hence, you won't learn. The real deal begins when you start doing," says Kavya matter-of-factly. Hence, her workshops stretch over four weeks, which gives you ample time to put into practice all that she preaches during her two-hour-long online weekly sessions. She started her first batch just two weeks ago and for now, there are about 20 people who she is hand-holding.
At a workshop | (Pic: Earth Sitters)
During the first session of the workshop, emphasis is on the 'why'. Then, she starts demos on composting, making natural cleaners and so on. "The point of spacing out the sessions is also that there are some external forces that might affect your motivation. So we work on building inner conviction too," shares Kavya who has a dual degree in MSc in Economics and BTech in Electronics from BITS, Hyderabad.
Previously, she worked for Credit-Suisse in Mumbai for about two years
The second session is on wet waste, the third on dry waste and Kavya also busts some recycling myths along the way. The last session concludes with her giving us sustainable alternatives. "During week two, participants are encouraged to take up Know Your Waste challenge, the focus of which is to analyse household waste and then work on how that can be reduced," she informs. She wants to continue doing these sessions in both Telugu and English so that she can reach out to more and more people.
Fresh produce | (Pic: Earth Sitters)
"Following the path of sustainability has changed my idea of happiness and contentment. I realised that it's so easy to derive joy from small practices," she says dreamily. So, are you ready to redefine a few of these definitions yourself?
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