Sinlung /
21 July 2011

IIM Shillong Takes Bamboo Step To Protect Environment


Waste bins made of indigenous contraptions placed at various locations on the IIM campus.

Shillong, Jul 21 : The khoh , a coarse, closed-weave basket used by the Khasis for carrying goods to the market, is also now being popularly utilised as a waste bin. The latest to promote the use of this indigenous item made of bamboo is the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong.

Normally, the khoh, a cone-shaped basket which is carried on the back by a head-strap, is used for carrying goods, while in villages which are inaccessible by road communication, it is also utilised for carrying the sick and the elderly.

The rim of the khoh is a circle, and the sides taper down sharply along a straight line to form a point at the base.

With an aim to create world class management professionals who are aware about their responsibilities towards the environment and society, members of the ECoBiZ Club, IIM Shillong, have come up with an initiative by placing bamboo-made waste bins or khoh at various places on the campus.

There is a three-fold objective behind procuring these “bins”. First, it will address the problems of waste disposal on the IIM campus. Secondly, unlike plastic containers, these would be environment- friendly.

In addition, these bins will promote the cultivation and usage of bamboo which is found in large quantities in the Northeast.

Currently 10 bins have been placed on campus and there are plans to increase this number based on feasibility and requirement.

The bins have been designed by the members of the ECoBiZ Club using indigenous contraptions and have been manufactured by the Meghalaya Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation.

Speaking to The Telegraph, club coordinator Subhankar Padhi said the reason behind the initiative was the lack of waste bins on the campus.

“When we came to the campus, we noticed that there were very few waste bins. The few that were there were basically made of plastic which is not at all eco-friendly. We, therefore, decided to embark on the initiative by placing the eco-friendly bins,” Padhi said.

Pointing out that vegetable and kitchen wastes were a serious problem on the campus, Padhi said awareness would be created to ensure that students do not waste food.

“As there are millions who go hungry to bed, we would like to make the people on campus aware about the need to stop wasting food,” Padhi added.

Moreover, the club intends to have an in-campus compost pit to manage bio-degradable waste. “Instead of waiting for the municipal authorities to clean up the mess, we are thinking of developing a compost pit wherein all bio-degradable wastes would be dumped,” he informed.

Stating that there is a shortage of water for non-drinking purpose, Padhi informed that the club would start initiating rainwater harvesting programmes.

“While Shillong receives a huge quantity of rainfall, we lack water for non-drinking purposes. Hence, the club would harvest rainfall by the use of eco-friendly products like bamboo instead of plastic materials,” Padhi said.

The club is also engaged in other social activities like blood donation and granting help to institutions working for the welfare of the aged and visually impaired children.


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