Waste, Water, Urbanization

We didn’t cover these topics directly in this year’s advisory lesson sequence, but that does not mean they aren’t important! Here are some resources you might want to explore from previous years’ lessons.

Waste: Questions and Links!

Waste is a big issue in India due to increasing urbanization.

In considering trash, you might look at any of the following questions, or many others:

  • Does India produce more or less trash than western countries?
  • Why does so much trash end up in our rivers?
  • How does recycling in India compare to recycling in other countries?
  • What are the positive and negative side to recycling in India?
  • Why is India importing trash from richer countries?
  • What are waste workers in India doing to get more respect?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to factories that burn trash to get power?

In our advisory session, we will look at Delhi’s Waste Wars to learn more about some of the problems in Delhi’s system of waste management, and consider how valuable trash can be to the people who depend on it for a livelihood.

There are many, many resources for information about all of these topics. Here is an infograph that might get you thinking:

Infographs: Waste in IndiaOur Toxic World

You can read about how waste workers have organized themselves in Pune here.

For a full-length graphic novel on the subject of toxic waste in India, check out Our Toxic World from the ES Library. It looks like this….And the good people at Toxics Link, a Delhi based NGO working on pollution and other things that poison our environment, have produced a lot of interesting research reports, which you can find here.

Many people feel that the traditional flush toilet wastes too much water and that we need to investigate alternatives. But this Ted Talk makes a strong case for toilets from a public health point of view.

And here are some links (from last year’s POP advisory session) about turning food waste into biogas.  Yes, sustainability and creativity are happening in the world, and especially here in India.  Check it out!


Here are some things to think about when you think about water. They include initiatives and articles about problems!

Here are some water-related questions you might want to investigate:

  • Why are there water shortages in many Indian cities?
  • Where do farmers get water for their crops, and what happens when there is not enough?
  • Why are many Indian rivers so polluted?
  • Why do so many people in India die from waterborne diseases?
  • What traditional ways of managing water are being used to address India’s water problems?
  • Are there new technologies that might help solve some of the water problems faced by India?
  • What is rainwater harvesting? What is a water table?

Urbanization: A closer look

What does “urbanization” mean to you? What do you imagine when you say the word?

I encourage you to think about the ways in which cities grow and change. The crush of people. The draw of city culture with its promises and assumptions. Who owns who?

Cities are where life gets compressed and nature battles industry.

How do you make sense of this human tendency to overcrowd oneself into “communal” spaces?

Let’s start at home and get an overview of what Delhi looks like right now:

Delhi Overview: What are the Forces at Work?

Info from the United Nations Development Programme in India:

Change Happenings and the Mechanics at Play

Think of all the lives inside the sprawling spaces. They are full of ups and downs and dizzying turning points. What is the most humane way to manage the masses? Consider that populations may need to move less, and, instead, focus on how to improve their personal plots.

Acupuncture Architecture

A Look at One Artist’s Vision of Cities: Beautiful? Foreboding? Both?

You decide your own direction.

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