Tuesday, January 02, 2007

as usual, the new year bought the IITians to do something for their beloved institute.

i have read numerous (shall we shall countless) articles on how ex-IITians bring money, assistance, fund grants, etc to IIT's. all these are welcome things.

but i have not read a single article where in an ex-IITian has talked about environmental responsbility or bought attention to the decaying nature of india's environment and how they and IIT's can contribute honestly towards working in green issues facing india.

infact IIT chennai's festival sarang was till 2005 one of the dirtiest festival in terms of generating trash. and not only that IIT sarang occupied only 133 sq ft of space whereas tens of thousands of square feet has been given to sponsors. no wonder ex-IITians should be happy :).

i quote from the above link
The study found that Saarang raised more than Rs. 50 lakhs in sponsorship and generated more than 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kgs) of trash for five days of fun.

Pepsi and Nestle were the two most visible corporate names in Saarang's trash, with more than 63,000 branded disposable cups in five days.

According to the material and sponsorship culture audit, just three companies, Hutch, Sunsilk and Nokia, accounted for more than 14,400 square feet or 88 per cent of the total banner space occupied by 23 organisations.

In contrast, IIT's Saarang occupied only 133 square feet of space.

Ninetysix per cent of the banners -- more than 15,800 square feet of banner material was PVC or vinyl, a plastic, the disposal of which is associated with the release of deadly toxins such as pthalates and dioxins.

what is the big deal, you might ask. the tragedy and the big deal is when reputed institutes like IIT dont show an green example other seldom follow because there are no leaders. but fortunately IIT has told it will have eco friendly sarang's.

i dont know how far the green idea of sarang went, but the bottom line is our IITs can do much better job in being a leader in green issues/technologies/examples/etc.

below are some pictures of pallikaranai marsh which i took from the website. most of south madras trash (including IIT) ends up in this crucial wetland and the trashing of this wetland is directly leading to floods in south chennai every year.


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