When students at the Panchayat Union Middle School, Konerikuppa in Tamil Nadu noticed the plight of the lone, aged sweeper at their school, they decided to take matters in their own hands.
The students noticed that she was struggling to keep the school area clean, especially considering her age. They interviewed the woman to get to the root of her difficulty. Out came the notepads and the students dedicated their breaks to chalk a plan of action.
“Our school ground is a huge open space and it is extremely taxing for our aged sweeper to clean. We decided to come up with an idea, where we could help her sweep the ground efficiently without overburdening her,” said one of the students.
The kids also set up a suggestion box for ideas. That’s how the idea of building a makeshift vehicle came into being. Integrating concepts from their geometry class, they followed a 4-step formula of ‘Feel-Imagine-Do-Share’ by Design for Change.
Using available waste materials on the campus – coconut leaves, a stick, and wheels of small cycles – they made a makeshift sweeping machine. They fixed the wheels to the stick and tied coconut leaves to it. The vehicle was designed to have an arm, which acted as a huge broom made of coconut leaves that could easily sweep the large playground.
Watch how they did:
Despite initial failures in production, the students achieved success through teamwork. The students now enjoy playing with this vehicle in their free-time, while also sweeping the grounds.
Their initiative certainly proves how young kids can use classroom lessons to impact change!
Know more about Design for Change here.