By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on Earth than people. These are electronic goods made up of hundreds of different materials containing toxic substances, much of which ends up in the developing world causing significant pollution and health risks.
Viewed from the perspective of a developing nation, we follow the progress of puppetry artist, Padmini Rangarajan, from Hyderabad, South India as she leads a team of young students to engage in Nokia India’s community action project ‘Create to Inspire’ to initiate ownership on judicious consumption and management of e-waste. The underlying idea is to urge people not to wait for ‘someone’ to do ‘something’ about the issue ‘someday’, but rather shoulder the responsibility ourselves for a sustainable tomorrow.
The very rapid growth of Information and Communication Technologies in both developed and developing countries has allowed production and waste management to be outsourced to rapidly developing countries, such as India, yet this also shifts any responsibility of the associated emissions to those countries. The toxic effects to our health and environment are not yet widely known, yet the hazards Padmini uncovers could prove fatal to many if we don’t address these issues now.
India celebrates long historical traditions of rod, shadow and string puppets and the medium of this traditional art gave us the opportunity to gain unique insights into India’s rich cultural heritage and demonstrate that creative arts projects and community engagement can bring about bold social change. Through puppetry arts, Padmini and her students can inspire their community into action and take responsibility to build safer and more resourceful environments for women and children and the community at large.
The resulting documentary film was supported by Nokia India (now Microsoft India) and is available below.
“It has been an enriching experience for the team to know and work with you.”
Pranshu Singhal, Director Digital Learning Strategy
Worldwide Education, Microsoft India