More than 37 teachers and school coordinators participated in the 'Afternoons With TTF', held on Thursday, January 20, 2011, at Amara Jyothi Public School, Bangalore. This was an interactive session with Poonam Bir Kasturi - an Industrial designer, mentor and teacher passionate about simple alternative practices in the cycle of production and consumption. She is a National Institute of Design graduate and founding faculty of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. Poonam designs and conducts workshops for people from varied backgrounds – students, designers, NGOs and the government. Her latest project Daily Dump is based on an open source platform, and provides a product-service system to promote home composting.
The new book for children - The Magic Gamla Pot were distributed for reading. Teachers shared their views on whether the first (segregation) activity or the book would be more effective for their own class.
There was fun as volunteers came up to speak to the tree. Poonam had teachers reflect on their hesitation in communicating and verbalizing with the environment. This led to the topic, “I am part of this world – Not apart”. Discussion was in pairs as they spoke about one suggested activity for the students to relate to this topic. The suggestions varied from walk in the garden, visiting the dumping ground, to planting saplings (depending on the age group of the class).
The practicality of having four dustbins in schools was discussed. Also, the influence of the home environment on the child's behavior was shared by some co ordinators. The participants did not accept any position without questioning and Poonam inspired by leading teachers towards searching and enquiring what is practiced, both at personal and professional levels!
The teachers enjoyed making cones for packaging commodities out of newspaper.
The downloadable film, “The Story of Stuff” gave the big picture which made the paticipants sit up and reflect on the role of advertisments / packaging materials / business houses / governments. There was some brainstorming on the role teachers and students could play to change the existing scenario.
Posted by Firoza Maneksha-Sinha, Sr. Centre Coordinator, TTF Bangalore Centre