An environmental initiative tackling the acutely growing issue of e-waste, a challenge termed as the ‘Monster under the 21st Century’s Bed’ by the organization, through a variety of awareness and collection drives across the nation. REUSE was founded by Rishit Jain, a Student of Grade 12, who was 14 years old then.
Starting in the small city of Gurgaon, with the young Rishit carrying used Diwali lights and broken iPods in his bare hands and storing them in his basement, REUSE today works in 5 States across the nation: Haryana, Delhi, Karnataka, Mahrashtra and Nagaland. With Parinita Bali, also of Grade 12 joining in as co-Founder, they have been tying up with Schools, residential societies, hospitals, government organizations, NGOs, student-led projects and e-waste recyclers. REUSE has expanded its reach exponentially since then. While the work is purely environmental, the Founders believe in sustaining such initiatives not through manipulation of its audience but through monetarily sustainable models that ensure every penny spent in making the world a better place, is a penny earned.
A few notable achievements are:
- Conducted collection drives in the Mallya Aditi International School, Indus International School Bangalore and in many residential societies in Gurgaon.
- Organized awareness drive for maintenance staff of La Lagune about the dangers of e-waste
- Initiated awareness-raising merchandise in the form of t-shirts and notebooks to help ensure operations are monetarily self-sustainable, during the La Lagune FLEAstival 2018.
- Focused immensely on student-led work, through the “e-world minus e-waste” initiative promoting student-organized awareness, collection drives and by expanding the volunteering network across Gurgaon
- Organized a poster competition for young kids to raise awareness on e-waste.
- Official Social Partner for the Ingenium Fest and the Pathways Science Symposium
- Marketing and Consulting tie-up with the student-funded project Trash-It – an app that helps identify the types of wastes present in one’s waste
- The partnership established for work with YouthNet, the largest youth-based organization in Nagaland.
As the project continues to expand its network of tie-ups and partnerships, it aspires to grow internationally too, taking with it a fervent message that gives voice to an environmental concern otherwise unheard of.
Rishit has taken his zeal for social entrepreneurship ahead in the form of consultancy, amalgamating corporatism with a vision and helping student-led projects grow and develop. For example, consulting for the Youth’s Lens – an online publication on economics, politics, cultural and philosophical matters – which today boasts an international network of student writers empowering them with a platform to develop their journalistic capacities while edifying the world around about current events. Similarly, he is working with another student-led project, The Ingenium Fest, a charitable art fair in the works raising money for mental health, attracting corporate sponsors, while providing young, aspiring students an opportunity to illustrate their artistic capacities. He continues to expand his network of student-led projects to cover a broader range of social and environmental problems.
Parinita, too, has done some outstanding work in the field of social development founding the Gurukul Project. Inspired by work she did with an NGO that works towards the improvement of women’s literacy in rural districts, in India, she accompanied the NGO to Lalitpur (a small city with multiple villages in Uttar Pradesh). Witnessing the growth in confidence of the women of the area, it became her goal to achieve a similar zenith of work and make the same difference to someone’s life. Therefore, the birth of this project. Its purpose, a simple one: to work with children in government schools and the authorities of the government schools, and attempt to bridge the gap between private and government education. This project has a bright future, for now, connecting with 4 government schools in Haryana and working towards progressive and systematic management of progress reports, and facilities required by the schools.