After successfully reaching out to 300,000 students to educate them about good waste management practices, Project SEARCH* – a joint initiative by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tetra Pak – is helping students become social entrepreneurs through its “Vasundhra” programme that promotes social entrepreneurship in schools. The brand new initiative under Project SEARCH was started to create scoial enterprises, completely owned by schools in six different cities. Pune’s Vidya Valley School was awarded the “Best Social Enterprise Idea award” for the year 2014 at an event organised here today.
The event also marked the launch of Project SEARCH’s seventh phase while celebrating the success of winning schools in different categories as well as awarded SEARCH school of the year to three best performing schools - St. Mary's School, Dwarka, New Delhi, Holy Spirit Institute, Margao, Goa and Vidya Valley School, Pune
UNESCO’s Senior Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences) Mitrasen Bhikajee, who was also the chief guest at the ceremony, said, “I would like to congratulate TERI and Tetra Pak for their relentless efforts towards educating young minds about sustainable development. These budding entrepreneurs have undertaken the pledge towards creating a green and healthy environment which is inspiring to all ages.”
Giving a Special Address on the occasion, Dr Leena Srivastava, Acting Director-General, TERI said ‘We are privileged to have a partnership between TERI and Tetra Pak but the biggest partnership we have to recognize is the partnership with the young generation. I believe the young generation of India is the hope not only of our country but also of the world; you are the ones who have the power to bring about positive change. I would like to congratulate Tetra Pak and my colleagues at TERI for the 7th phase of Project SEARCH. This Project is about: creating an understanding for the kind of challenges we face; empowering students by giving them the tools and techniques to be able to address the challenges and finally it is about leadership on the basis of understanding and empowerment. I want to thank Tetra Pak for being a long term partner with TERI, especially since it is unique that a corporate comes forward for such a long term partnership.’
Ms Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development, TERI, said, “During our sixth phase of Project SEARCH, we worked with schools across cities wherein we collected a total of 47 tons of waste. As a part of SEARCH programme we also trained school students in social entrepreneurship through our pilot initiative, Vasundhara. As we begin with seventh phase of Project SEARCH, we plan to expand our outreach and connect with over 300,000 students and teachers across locations through our newly launched website. Our partner, Tetra Pak’s unending support and commitment towards environment education drive us to achieve our goal. We are going to ensure that Phase 7 sets a new benchmark in school education programs on sustainability”.
Project SEARCH aims at effecting behavioral changes in the students and teachers and the response so far has been splendid. We are going to ensure that Phase 7 sets a new benchmark in school education programs on sustainability.
Jaideep Gokhale, Communication Director, Tetra Pak South Asia Markets, said, “We were successfully able to create young entrepreneurs who adopted an eco-friendly approach towards developing profitable, sustainable and innovative enterprises. These are values that resonate with what Tetra Pak stands for. We are extremely proud to see the conviction and dedication of the students and the teachers towards good waste management practices.”
Project SEARCH encourages young students and teachers to practice the 4Rs – refuse, reuse, reduce and recycle – in their daily lives and make consumption choices that would ensure the sustainability of the planet in the years to come. In 2014 Project SEARCH was recognized by UNESCO as one of the 5 ‘Good Practice Stories on Education for Sustainable Development’ in India.