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Gayathri K - Primary Short-listed Nominee - Social Volunteer Awards 2021

Human. Pursuing my bachelor's in biochemistry and industrial microbiology. If we wish to create or make a change, and then it should start from the individual. Young, energetic and enthusiastic person. Dedicated social volunteer and program coordinator, working for a good cause. Passionate in volunteering, art and nature photography and also more passionate with nature and environmental sustainability. Love to travel and explore the human kinda and the places. Kind of person who found joy in little things, and it means to me. I really love and wish to bring good & positive changes in the people who around me. Listening to people are one of the thing I really like to do and want to be good listener. Making some happy and knowing that they are because of me make me more happy, and I feel alive. Always tries to spread happiness, smile and love wherever I go with whom I am.

VOLUNTEERING FOR ME

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" _ Mahatma Gandhi. Volunteering is the at the very core of being a human. Volunteering is something about sharing happiness and love with supporting and contributing to the people and to the surroundings for good cause with selflessness and growing together. Volunteering and being a volunteer is an opportunity to build new skills and knowledge, to learn unlearn and relearn the things properly.

VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

I am a person, always curious about learning things and always tries to be energetic to do everything I can, to help the needy. As a volunteer and volunteering enhanced me as a person and made me feel better myself and made me a human to feel proud myself. The new world of different shades I go through, smiles that I bloomed on the surrounding faces, the knowledge I earned through it and the curiosity of learning and knowing people deeper, stories of humans inspired me in to the field of volunteering and to be a good volunteer. May it can be defined as my inner feelings that I cannot be expressed here through my words inspired me more and more and to do things and pushed myself to take another step forward to my happiness and vision. I am trying to do my best as I can, and I will. In fact while hearing this my mind and heart dates back to my up level of school and my social science sir I'm active in the school clubs like environmental clubs to contribute to the betterment of nature and to conserve the flora and fauna in the localities, and I am glad that, I can be part of many clubs in the 'up' level and high school level of my school period itself. At that time, I am inspired by my social science sir and her love and selfless work towards the nature for a good cause and teaching students the values of it. In those days, volunteering in me confined of these club activities I did with more joy, love and selflessly encouraged me to do more in the future. So that, I can say I started my volunteering journey in my 'up' level because of my curiosity. But here it is to be mentioned that there exists a cliff between the nature of volunteering I'm done during my school days and the volunteering service extended by me during past three years.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

I am born and raised up in a middle-class family. In school days i always wished to be part and active at the works. Iam a active participant even though i missed several good opportunities to explore amd learn things from experience. At that my parents always told me like 'you are a girl and you are meant for that, we can't let you go to places because you are a girl and we are afraid of letting you to do and go ' and second thing is the Financial stability. And all of these restricted me to became who iam and always misss the opportunities, i can't able to speak up against my parents at that time. Even though i participated and volunteered in many clubs that are active at school and i always enjoyed it mostly the environmental club. Im the kind who love the nature and the environment and always wished to do good and gave it back something to it

Volunteering unknowingly begin in my life through the active participation and being part of many clubs in the 'up' level and high school level of my school period itself. At that time iam inspired by my social science teacher ( Sunandhan) and his love and selfless work towards the nature for a good cause and teaching students the values of it and he is one my favourite teacher too. Without mentioning him my volunteering journey will never complete. In those days volunteering in me confined of these club activities, i did with more joy,love and selflessly encouraged me to do more in the future..So that i can say i started my volunteering journey the story in my 'up' level because of my curiousity. But here it is to be mentioned that there exists a cliff between the nature of volunteering i done during my school days and the volunteering service extended by me during past three years. After two year of gap in the activities again i enter in to volunteering field in the first year of my bachelor's degree period. It started again with NSS (2019) , one of my wish from early at school period. As part of nss i can able to be actively participate in the different fields. At the time of flood and after worked for the needy. Part of the campaign home for homeless and able to build a house for economically backward family whose house get damaged by the flood. Coordinated different sessions in the college related to nss, health, wetland conservation, sdg's, palliative training and many more. Handled the position coordinator of BMC (bhoomithra sena club) directorate of environment and climate change, govt of Kerala And as In UBA in college level. I acquired great privilege by getting chance to serve NSS volunteer secretary ( 2020-2021) Fortunately i got an opportunity to be a part (participant) of the 7-8 days of residential program RISE ( rural immersion for social Empowerment) conducted by the gulmohar foundation, Vithura grama panchayat , UBA ( unnat Bharath abhiyan, ministry of human Developement, govt of India) IISER Tvm. I can say it is one the most important turning point in my life and in the volunteering field. As part of RISE, i can work with vithura grama panchayat for green vithura project. Those 7 days iam learning and discovering myself more than the earlier times. It was the opening door for me towards more volunteering paths outside the college premises. It will be not fair if i didn't mention Dr Ganga G, assistant professor (microbiology) and my nss program officer for always supporting and encouraging me to do more and the opportunities she brought near to me. Participated climate warriors program by irtc ( integrated rural technology Center) mundoor, palakkad. As a volunteer, part of Gulmohar foundation co ordinated TYPL palakkad a three day program and also can be able to be a member in the core team of TYPL and TYPL under 18. A small part of the great library project by TYPL Mappuram. Along with these joined red is blood keral (RIBK) in palakkad district and glad to be it's executive member of sthrijwola (2019-2020)(women's unit) under ribk. Volunteer in NGO's like bring back green (BBG), smile fix foundation, ERRT Tvm ( emergency rapid response team), Smile fix foundation, at KET palakkad, captain's solution, Clean circle community. Participated ECHO2020 under WWF. Got the 1st shared with delhi team for the project biodegradable sanitary napkin fro. Water hyacinth and appreciation awards and certificate from other organization one such chengannur inner wheel club. Followed by the project conduct awareness session, Champaigns for the school and clge student on healthy and sustainable menstruation (shirshti). Currently handling as lead volunteer role amd coordination in a project moving library/human library comes under ignite india. Many more to go in the journey hoping i can do little things for a good cause lead to a better tomorrow. PROJECT

Biodegradable sanitary napkin from water hyacinth (by implemegnting green protocol)


ORGANISATION

SREE AYYAPPA COLLEGE, NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME( UNIT 52 A&B)


MISSION & VISION

Production of biodegradable sanitary napkin from water hyacinth by implementing green protocol at the grass root level through the empowerment of womens, adolescent aged girls and providing and making employability to the women. Sanitary napkins, pads are majour hazardous. Non biodegradable plastics incorporated with polymerised gel with polyvinyl compounds. It contributes large portions to the environmental pollution and health hazards. The mentioned project is to develop an alternative method for sustainable menstruation through women empowerment tackling the two major threats. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Sustainable environment and its future prospects are the most recent advanced thrust area of research. The sustainable development is need to be addressed from the grass root level is the best possible way to achieve sustainable development throughout the nation, keeping in this view in mind we are planned to implement protection programs. Many initiatives are taken up for healthy and sustainable approch for environmental concern and women empowerment. Sanitary napkins, pads are majour hazardous. Non biodegradable plastics incorporated with polymerised gel with polyvinyl compounds. It contributes large portions to the environmental pollution. The another major threat is the extensive growth of alien species whater hyacinth in the water bodies of areas in Alappuzha. Contaminates and pollute the water bodies leading to the ill effects to the under water flora and fauna. Affects the dissolved oxygen content in water.

The mentioned project is to develop an alternative method for sustainable menstruation through women empowerment tackling the two major threats.

Rationale of study :

sanitary napkins contribute a large environmental impact due to its extensive use and non biodegradable properties. Non biodegradable plastics incorporated with polymerised gel with polyvinyl compounds. Plastics as well as the chemicals incorporated in it are hazardous to our health, and to the environment. Hence echo friendly sanitary napkins are considered to be need of the hour.

About the issue:

Survey was conducted in 2019 after the survey taken in 2018 flood in the selected villages in Alappuzha district (four rural villages and one semi urban areas) found to be that lack of awareness and knowledge people are handling waste management improper way. Without out proper waste Management found that the extensive use of plastic non biodegradable napkins dumped in the fields, river banks, in water bodies and in appropriate or unscientific manner of disposal of sanitary napkins, water bodies overgrown by invasive alien species- water hyacinth and highly contaminating the areas.

Out project idea :

Production of biodegradable sanitary napkin Production of biodegradable,eco friendly and affordable sanitary napkins from water hyacinth tackling two major issues Creating awareness among women and adolescent aged girls about the sustainable menstruation and hygiene, health related issues, women empower by providing employability to women through self help groups( kudumbasree ). Promote eco-friendly livelihood. Key achievements in the way of our mission is singing MOU with chengannur municipality, involvement of (ATREE)in giving awareness classes, work shops jn clothe sanitary napkin production this contribute to the women in the locality to produce their own napkins from old good condition clothes by sterilising it. partnership with care kerala for the testing the quality and composition of the produced biodegradable sanitary napkin. Machineries from Sivakashi. Conducted many sessions, workshops,awareness campaign , surveys with in the college and at the selected villages. Some virtual sessions, awareness classes, seminars to the students in college students as well as in schools overall entire kerala. Awareness about the menstrual hygiene, their sustainability etc are taken in the name of 'shrishti'. As part of our project in the way forward we are planned and setting up this project as business model with cost effective manner and providing employability to the women by empowering and raising them.


Objectives of the project :

  • Create awareness among women and adolescent aged girls of selected villages in Alappuzha.

  • create employability to women of kudumbasree workers, home makers and other active female working groups by taking part in the production of biodegradable napkins.

  • devolopment of strategies for the production of biodegradable sanitary napkins by using natural absorbing materials.

  • implementation of green protocol with the help of panchayat and local self governing bodies

In ECHO 2020 by WWF, national summit. We presented our project idea and the project. Got the 1st in the national level we shared the 1st position with delhi team. For the project Appreciation, momento and cash price from inner wheel club society are given


Total People outreached

(Total of 5 village ) : 500

Students outreached in our college : 200


Workshops conducted : 3 [ 3×50 = 150 people]

Seminars ,sessions conducted at each village : 5 [ 5×12= 60]


People engaged in training and awareness : 250


The project was delvolped as team consisting of four students including me and parvathy, sreelakshmi S, sunaina Nair SS respectively and by our NSS program offficer, our microbiology faculty Dr Ganga G. Who facilitated and metored the project LENGTH OF SERVICE

The project was carried out in 3-4 phases. Each phase has adequate time to create amd execute it. We took time almost nearly 2 years. Started at 2019 and almost completed in 2020. Now in the process of making it in a business model and large scale process. I have bee in working in it for more than 450 hours

ROLE IN PROJECT

One of the member in the devolepment and executing the project idea in the core team. Handled the coordination roles comes under the project. Coordinated and conducted awarness programs, seminars, work shops etc with the adolescent aged girls and the womens at selected villages. This give me the confidence in coordinating and conducting sessions effectively. As this project was designed by a team, that team spririt and the capacity to work with people who are different in thoughts and all are build upped in me. Field works , surveys and visit gives clear cut picture and to have the opportunity to see the life of people deeper. Documenting the project is the another field i handled, it was the thing iam doing it for the 1st time. Gain a new thing a new knowledge.. More or less it all helped me to be better than earlier, to gain self esteem, self motivated, self Dicipline. Enhanced my inner strength, confidence in doing and taking risks and getting of comfort zones to the maximum IMPACT OF PROJECT

By implementing green protocol with the help of panchayat and self helping groups in the selected villages results in the efficient manner of waste handling and proper methods to dispose garbage and kitchen wastes reduced the land pollution to certain extent. The training, Awareness and work shops conducted for the women in the villages make them aware of what they did all these days and paved the way for a healthy and hygiene sustainable menstruation . It is one of the most impact created. Thus the usage of biodegradable sanitary products for sustainable menstruation are promoted. Imparting native water hyacinth in the biodegradable sanitary making reduced the amount of the alien species in the water bodies and back waters to an extent. Thus can favor the reduction in the water pollution and balancing inner water life. If the business model was implemented there will be continuos opportunity and employability for the women. Still have the opportunity for the small scale production in the locality. They gained the capacity to make their on menstrual product and it is one of the good and best thing. To led a sustainable eco friendly lively hood is promoted. Looking forward to taken the project to the next level Using adequate Machineries. Large scale of production would enable people to have at economical cost . By industrializing with the help of kudumbasree workers, home makers, other active females, students increase the applicability of the product and provide employability and to empower women by themselves. Wishing to implement the same amd make people aware and knowledge about it in the rural areas within amd out of kerala . Wishing to implement the same amd make people aware and knowledge about it in the rural areas within and out of kerala SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • GOAL 13: Climate Action

  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Being alive and being the reason for someone's smile and listening them is the greatest achievement for me in my life

  • Acquired the position to serve as nss volunteer secretary and coordinating BMC and UBA units in college

  • Best NSS unit ward for our nss unit from kerala university

  • holding the 1st position in national summit Echo 2020 , WWF

  • Being part of the works that create a good cause is also an achievement

FUTURE PLANS

Wishing to do the things that are more sustainable and good to environment and economically backward communities. Dreaming of creating a space for childrens who is facing difficulties and to those who are differently abled , for alternative learning and in the way they enjoy the learning process and explore more than things they learn from stuffs in the books.Teaching the students in the rural and slum areas is one of the thing i'm looking to do. Being a more passionate person in nature, wild life and conserving them i want to connect with and work for their conservation. Passionate in sustainable and social spaces for the empowerment and hoping to work in that field. Manu more to go in this journey and hoping to do more good things and small small changes later they pay the way for something great. Gulmohar foundation have the more credits in building me up. I learned so many things, skills from there. The platform helped me to know myself and utilise it properly. Wishing that the ISV can help me and contribute in the future. Looking forward REFERENCE: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1fZg4cWrtipj-u_4N4EnrprGX-iaqzHx3

Are you an aspiring volunteer, put your ideas into action at

National Volunteers Hackathon 2021

www.socialsolutionsindia.in/national-volunteers-hackathon-2021

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