E Week Yatra Stories
Change-makers at Work
Saveetha Engineering College, Chennai
Feb 9, 12 pm
This E Week, the NEN E Cell at Saveetha Engineering College is making a significant difference in the village of Naipakkam, a remote village 35 km from Chennai, where over 75% of the families are below the poverty line.
After successfully establishing a Vermi Compost unit on campus, the E Cell members reached out to villagers to teach them to make manure from waste in their own homes. The possibility of earning Rs 50/kg of manure has made many families dig up collection pits in their backyards to produce manure. “We never knew we could make money from waste. We are very excited,” explained Mohan, President of the village council.
Meanwhile, NEN E Leader Mohammed Affan and his team are implementing eco-friendly ‘chulhas’ in the village to replace firewood. The chulha is made using steel canisters, and uses dry leaves and twigs to generate heat for cooking. A full canister of leaves can burn for 45 minutes, and the chulha design facilitates cooking and boiling water at the same time. The ash residue can be used as a cleaning agent. Each chulha costs Rs 300. Mohd Affan has already installed these chulhas in 150 households in the village of Kothambakkam, and is now hoping to do the same in Naipakkam.
70-year-old Dhanabhagyam is keen to bring this chulha to her home. “I can’t see clearly anymore because of years of cooking on firewood. I will gift this chulha to my children. These students are helping us lead better lives,” she said.
Isn’t this the E Week spirit in its truest form?