Project SEARCH helps students become ‘social entrepreneurs’

After successfully reaching out to 300,000 students to
educate them about good waste management practices, Project SEARCH* – a joint
initiative  by The Energy and Resources
Institute (TERI) and Tetra Pak – is helping students become social
entrepreneurs through its “Vasundhra” programme that promotes social
entrepreneurship in schools. The brand new initiative under Project SEARCH was
started to create scoial enterprises, completely owned by schools in six
different cities. Pune’s Vidya Valley School was awarded the “Best Social
Enterprise Idea award” for the year 2014.

The event also marked the launch of Project SEARCH’s seventh
phase while celebrating the success of winning schools in different categories
as well as awarded SEARCH school of the year to three best performing schools:

UNESCO’s Senior Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences)
Mitrasen Bhikajee, who was also the chief guest at the ceremony, said, “I would
like to congratulate TERI and Tetra Pak for their relentless efforts towards
educating young minds about sustainable development. These budding
entrepreneurs have undertaken the pledge towards creating a green and healthy
environment which is inspiring to all ages.”

Giving a Special Address on the occasion, Dr Leena
Srivastava, Acting Director-General, TERI said ‘We are privileged to have a
partnership between TERI and Tetra Pak but the biggest partnership we have to
recognize is the partnership with the young generation. I believe the young
generation of India is the hope not only of our country but also of the world;
you are the ones who have the power to bring about positive change. I would
like to congratulate Tetra Pak and my colleagues at TERI for the 7th phase of
Project SEARCH. This Project is about: creating an understanding for the kind
of challenges we face; empowering students by giving them the tools and
techniques to be able to address the challenges and finally it is about
leadership on the basis of understanding and empowerment. I want to thank Tetra
Pak for being a long term partner with TERI, especially since it is unique that
a corporate comes forward for such a long term partnership.’

Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable
Development, TERI, said, “During our sixth phase of Project SEARCH, we worked
with schools across cities wherein we collected a total of 47 tons of waste. As
a part of SEARCH programme we also trained school students in social
entrepreneurship through our pilot initiative, Vasundhara. As we begin with
seventh phase of Project SEARCH, we plan to expand our outreach and connect
with over 300,000 students and teachers across locations through our newly
launched website. Our partner, Tetra Pak’s unending support and commitment towards
environment education drive us to achieve our goal. We are going to ensure that
Phase 7 sets a new benchmark in school education programs on sustainability”.

Project SEARCH aims at effecting behavioral changes in the
students and teachers and the response so far has been splendid. We are going
to ensure that Phase 7 sets a new benchmark in school education programs on

Jaideep Gokhale, Communication Director, Tetra Pak South
Asia Markets, said, “We were successfully able to create young entrepreneurs
who adopted an eco-friendly approach towards developing profitable, sustainable
and innovative enterprises. These are values that resonate with what Tetra Pak
stands for. We are extremely proud to see the conviction and dedication of the
students and the teachers towards good waste management practices.”

Project SEARCH encourages young students and teachers to
practice the 4Rs – refuse, reuse, reduce and recycle – in their daily lives and
make consumption choices that would ensure the sustainability of the planet in
the years to come. In 2014 Project SEARCH was recognized by UNESCO as one of
the 5 ‘Good Practice Stories on Education for Sustainable Development’ in


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