May 2017 ByJamuna Rangachari Nishant Jain: Crusading for a cleaner planet Even though environmental pollution bothers everyone, very few pick up the cudgels to do something about it. However those who do, make aIn 2014, 15-year-old Nishant Jain contracted bronchitis because of a dumpyard fire that broke out near his house in Mumbai. While the firehad initially been a small one, due to the presence of e-waste and batteries, it spread and polluted the neighbourhood air. Nishant suffered a lot because of the smog. Althoughthe doctors advised him to avoid it at all cost, it was not easy to implement. Soon, he realised that he would have to do something to improve the situation around him. He researched and found that the batteries did indeed cause the fire in the dumpyard to become severe. He discovered that although the battery manufacturing companies knew this, they did not do much to spread awareness, except print a small note about it on the battery. Because of this even highly educated people like his parents were unaware of their danger. “I went online and found that there were companies that collected batteries and e-waste and even recycled them,” he says. After that Nishant began talking to people in his colony as well as schools to not dispose of the batteries wantonly, because of the hazards involved in the act. Later, he came across the NGO Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) which had helped a girl build toilets in her village. He contacted them and with their help is now working with 13 schools to spread awareness and collect batteries and e-waste. Today, Nishantis working furiously to attract the government’s attention towards his cause. He has also written a letter to the Prime Minister and is hoping to hear from him. Till now, he has collected over 350 kg of e-waste which includes mobile phones and laptops, and has sent it for recycling. “Determination, dedication and willpower are the secrets of my success,” he says. Along with CMCA, he hopes to create such programmes in other cities across the country too to spread the message of preserving the environment. Do get it touch with him at https://www.facebook.com/NishantEarthBudhttps://twitter.com/Earth_Bud
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