Anthill Creations: Five IITians All Set to Revive Childhood Through Recycling
At the age of 23, when most are looking at lucrative career options, the five batchmates from IIT Kharagpur were thinking about a way to bring back the playgrounds for children as these are vanishing due to rapid urbanization coupled with how to tackle India’s growing waste crisis. The result was an architecture company, Anthill Creations, a non-profit organization incubated in Bengaluru, which works with the underprivileged communities to help build DIY sustainable playgrounds for children using scrap materials.
A five-member group of IIT graduates, namely, Pooja Rai, Nancy, Nupur Agarwal, Videsh Gupta, and Souradeep Paul brought the simple and tricky solutions to address the problem of lack of playgrounds for children, especially in the urban area through Anthill Creations, by upcycling waste materials like scrap tires and oil drums which is quite significant, to get twitter tweets, click here
ABOUT ANTHILL CREATIONS
Anthill Creations aims to bring back playgrounds to children by mobilizing communities to build lighter, faster, and cheaper playscapes by upcycling the waste materials lie scrape tires, cable drums as well as oil drums. These playgrounds can be built within four days with the help of communities and also, these playgrounds are completely DIY. The idea of modular playscapes is a highly scalable and replicable model across countries. Anthill brings in the much-needed play into children's lives that eventually results in the better overall growth of the body, irrespective of any kind discrimination which is prevalent in our society.
Mantra, an NGO is partnering with the team to help school children from the slums in the Padarayanapura neighborhood. Anthill Creations came together with Mantra and Storytime, an international volunteer organization that promotes reading in under-served communities, to create a library in Florida English School.
Collection of tyre waste from garages, godowns and tie up different manufactures and companies who on a regular basis provide them with tyre waste to the team. Recently one of the companies has also started giving them cable drums that are made of steel for the purpose of using it in the playgrounds they build.
GLIMPSE FROM THE PAST:
"The idea of building a sustainable playground for kids came to me when I was interning under a reputed architect named Aziza Chauni in Morocco. She worked with recycled items a lot," Souradeep says.
"981 million tyres are either burnt or piled up in landfills around the world every year which provoked them to come up with some innovative ideas to reuse them"
-The team learned from the news reports.
In 2014, the company built its first low-cost playground at the Disha Seema Care Centre located on the IIT-Kharagpur campus. The initial assistance for sourcing old tyres came from Michelin tyres.
"We set up the company in Bengaluru after we graduated but, last December, Nancy and I decided to quit our jobs and devote all our time to fulfill this passion," says Pooja Rai, co-founder, and CEO at Anthill Creations. The other three are part-time directors and help with projects in Delhi, where they are based, while Nancy is the company's chief operating officer, to read more such articles, click here
To date, 18 regions have been covered; 203 playgrounds are built and 1,01,500 children are benefited in India from the initiatives of the team and the projects bring along the message of the green revolution.
They have received requests from other developing countries as well, including Nepal and Africa to build these playgrounds. In fact, they have already built a playground in Janakpur in Nepal which is one of their biggest playgrounds so far.
VISION FOR FUTURE:
Anthill Creations is transforming itself to be able to scale faster and replicate at a higher rate across countries, with the help of instructional videos which would enable champions in the community (microentrepreneurs) to become change-makers by using their tools. Their plan for the future is to construct 10,000 playgrounds across India in three years. "We are looking to partner with similar-minded organizations to work with us," says Rai.
They are also experimenting with recyclable items such as used plastic bottles, discarded drums, used cable drum wheels, and old cycle rims as alternative materials. "We want to create inclusive playgrounds that have something for children, adults, specially-abled children, and even senior citizens," says Charaya.