Global Citizens for Sustainable Development, in partnership with Living Hope Children’s Home and Kingston High School successfully organized MALHAAR 2013, the fourth annual three-week festival that unites youth in Bangalore through sports and environmental leadership. The theme of this years’ festival was Conscious Consumption, which probed students to consider the social and environmental impact of products they consume.
Watch the video of Malhaar 2013:
From June 24th – July 6th, Global Citizens for Sustainable Development gave 22 lessons to students between 6-12th standards at 12 schools around Bangalore on Conscious Consumption.
Through the lessons students came to understand the factors that drive them to be consumers, the techniques used by companies to sell them products and the product lifecycle paradigm of today. Through discussion, students came up with ways to improve their personal consumption habits by recycling, reusing, reducing and re-imagine the products they use.
As an extension of the Conscious Consumption Lesson, students were encouraged at the end of the presentation to participate in the MALHAAR 2013 Essay Writing Contest. The prompt asked students to re-imagine a product to be more environmentally friendly and still serve the same function. Ten essays were submitted to the competition and winners were announced at the MALHAAR 2013 Sports Tournament.
On July 11th and 12th, MALHAAR 2013 carried the theme of Conscious Consumption through to the Bangalore Interschool Football and Throwball Tournament, the festival’s culminating event at the Living Hope Children’s Home campus in Veeranapalya, Bangalore. Fifteen schools participated in the tournament and students had the opportunity to further engage with each other through environmental games and activities. These activities taught students about resource use and intersectionality between all living things and inspired them to be environmental change-makers in their own lives and communities.
Living Hope Children’s Home won the Under-16 Football Tournament and Vivekananda School won the Under-16 Throwball Tournament. Legacy School was runner-up for football and Bagini Nevedetha High School was runner-up for throwball. Johnathan Adithya Piers from Legacy School was awarded best sportsman for football and Bollamma.M.P from Vivekananda School was awarded best sportswoman for throwball. Students expressed that they were excited to have the opportunity to interact with other youth from schools around school and that the educational portion of the Tournament taught them a lot about consumption.
MALHAAR 2013 was an opportunity for students across Bangalore to engage in a discussion of contemporary environmental issues and interact positively through sports. Through the lessons and activities at the tournament, the message of conscious consumption reached over 6000 students around Bangalore. Educating this age group (students ages 12-18 years) on tactics businesses use to sell them products and encouraging them to be critical of the environmental and social implications of their consumption habits will prove to be a powerful tool to for them as they grow to be India’s next generation of leaders. It is essential that people everywhere understand their role as both local and global citizens and their power as consumers. MALHAAR 2013 served as a platform for youth
in Bangalore to develop awareness about consumer culture and take direct action in their lives.