Campaign turns e-waste into treasures |
Gulf Today - 20 June, 2012
A group of students from the Dubai British School (DBS) were searching for a way to give back to the community this summer and decided to distribute unwanted electronic gadgets among over two dozen labourers at one of the construction sites in Greens.
The initiative, called “Pass It On,” was the brainchild of Eros Group to collect unwanted electronic items and distribute them among the less fortunate in collaboration with the NGO “Take My Junk.”
Jitendra Bhavnani, deputy manager, marketing, Eros Group, told The Gulf Today said that this campaign with schools was initiated last year during Ramadan and so far a number of underprivileged people, especially labourers, were given electronic items donated by the people from different segments of the society, especially schoolchildren.
He also pointed out that the unwanted electronic items were picked up from people’s homes and, where necessary, were repaired to make them usable for further distribution among the less fortunate.
“During the last one year, through this campaign we distributed a large number of items among labourers in Sharjah and Ajman.”
He said, “It was the second time we have the partnership with the Dubai British School and asked them to participate in the campaign and many children had donated electronic gadgets they were no more using. Earlier we had Gems World Academy, where the students donated various electronic gadgets like mobile phones, MP3 players, DVD players, laptop computers, gaming consoles and many more items that were distributed among labourers at one of the camps,” he added.
The campaign started in DBS recently with a forum for students, parents, visitors and teachers to tackle the e-waste problem in the UAE. Through the forum, the students were encouraged to make a commitment to pass on their unwanted electronics products to the labourers in the UAE.
“During the one-month-long campaign at DBS, Eros Group organised various sessions for the students and their parents to create awareness on the benefits of electronic ‘reduce, reuse and recycle,’” Bhavnani said.
The awareness campaign, which is in its third year now, is in conjunction with ‘Take My Junk’ and aims at reducing electronic waste through extending the life cycle of electronic products by giving them away to those less fortunate. ‘Pass It On’ drop boxes were placed in DBS where students had put their unwanted electronic items. The students collected items ranging from mobile phones, air purifiers, music systems, CD and DVD players, mixers and blenders which were much appreciated by the labourers.
Zoya Ali, one of the students from the group, who visited the construction site in Tecom Area in Dubai to hand over the donated items among the labourers, told The Gulf Today that it was a great moment for the students who had given their unwanted electronic items. “The response from the students from all over the school was great as many children donated their unwanted electronic items for the drive,” she added.
Faisal Khan, a Canadian businessman who has been living in Dubai since five years, started the “Take My Junk” NGO to collect unwanted items and distribute them in various labour camps throughout Dubai and other emirates every Friday.
The team from ‘Take My Junk’ collected the items from the school and distributed it among the labourers in Greens with the help of volunteers from DBS’s students, teachers and Eros Group members.