Rajus labour of enlightenment

KATHMANDU: His eight-year-long study of the topic -- waste management, in which how to use waste in the form of art and architecture -- has paid off fourth year student of architecture Raju Khadka of Acme Engineering college handsome dividends.

The second exhibition of his career 'Sparsha 2' has proved a landmark for architecture students and all environment conscious people around the globe. In today's context when waste material is one of the major issues, Raju's attempt to reuse waste material to form new useable products raises hope as to how to sort this issue in a simple and efficient way. At the same time, Raju has shown that waste management can be a new portal for employment generation.

Raju dared to invest Rs 300,000 of his own to complete his project. Although a few organizations came forward to help Raju, most of the expenses have been borne by him. He has not put a price tag on the exhibited products, as his intention is not profit making but creating create genuine awareness at the initial stage. Despite the keen interest shown by visitors to buy the exhibited products, Raju refused to sell them.

According to Raju, the exhibition proved helpful in spreading his message as many reputed companies both within and outside the nation approached Raju with various proposals. However, he clarified that there is a need for adequate research on this subject to generate skilled manpower. "This method is based on common skills and does not require sophisticated technology," said Raju. He stressed on the need for creating awareness among the people and especially children and also suggested that studies be based more on practical knowledge rather than theoretical approach. Raju's attempt transcends petty personal achievements. He plans to organize workshops and training after the end of the exhibition.

Raju stressed on the need for a government policy regarding waste reuse and has also presented a proposal to Nepal Tourism Board regarding the use of waste materials to create useful products as presents for tourists visiting Nepal in 'Nepal Tourism Year 2011'. "This would create an image of Nepal as an environment conscious nation amongst foreign tourists coming here, "said Raju.

The Ministry of Environment has assured Raju of providing him adequate support. Raju's parting advice? Every waste material is valuable as it is an alternative building material.

Some 5,000 people visited Sparsh 2 that lasted till today.