As per the Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) survey, India has made impressive progress in school enrollments and the focus is to improve quality. Goonj has found that rural students lack basic supplies (uniforms, pencil, books, a bag etc) while urban students have the same in abundance. This recycling, environment-friendly effort sensitizes and motivates urban students to donate their reusable school material, and acts as the carrot to get village children to school.
Urban children areas are quick to discard their stationary, uniforms and other school supplies. But do they realize where all these discards go? Can we sensitize them about recycling at an early age and inculcate it as a habit? Can these supplies be reused by rural children who cannot afford new supplies? Won't this create a win-win situation for children in both sections of the society? And also help protect our environment?
The program uses a unique school kit designed by Goonj to promote participation of children. Goonj begins with sessions in urban school followed by a visit to the Goonj centers where they learn about recycling. Urban children contribute their old school supplies to create a school kit which consists of bags, pencils, uniforms etc. Goonj also creates activity centers in village schools and awards the school kits while engaging the children in other activities.
The School to School initiative targets the urban as well as the rural children. The urban children learn the importance of recycling resources which would otherwise reach the dumping grounds and feel empowered by helping a child their age get back to school. The rural child is provided the supplies as an award and not charity. This helps improve the involvement in class (awards for involvement and attendance) and general hygiene (cleanliness award) and increase their self confidence.