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We are all aware of e-waste but, the question begs, how aware are we of the actual risks that ewaste poses to the environment? Ruehie Karri was always inspired by my father to do something that is universally good, something that gives back to the environment, something that makes the world a better place," says Sanjay Jangam, founder of EWA, a that recycles electronic waste to manufacture plant pots that are not only beautiful but also completely biodegradable. EWA forms the culmination of several trials and errors of initiatives that were started with the sole purpose of bringing about a change and preserving our environment. Electronic waste is extremely hazardous when compared to other wastes because of inefficient disposal methods used by the

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Environment & people

18

December 2019

unorganised sector. This, in turn, contaminates water, soil and air. As no proper gear is provided, it also affects workers' health leading to damaged immune systems and even cancer. According to a study jointly conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and Frost & Sullivan, Bengaluru is generating 92,000 metric tonnes of e-waste annually and is one of the top five e-waste generators in India. Also, e-waste accounts for five per cent of the total waste worldwide. Taking that into perspective, EWA sounds like a welcome solution. There are several ways of recycling this waste, but the million-dollar question is, how effective is this approach to minimise e-waste on the planet? In conversation with Sanjay Jangam, a retired Commander of the Indian Navy, here's a captivating and passionate story of

how the inception of EWA came about and his thoughts on recycling electronic waste responsibly. How did you begin with the idea of EWA? What does EWA stand for? I've been dabbling in a lot of research, over the years. It was related to the various problems around us and their solutions that are eco-friendly. Starting with a project that can produce drinking water by condensing atmospheric moisture using clean energy to ride-sharing apps to thermoacoustic refrigeration, I finally came upon EWA. The other projects didn't take off due to many reasons, but I've not given up on them yet. EWA is an acronym for e-waste and, it also means 'continued life' in Hebrew, which is very apt for what we do. Directly or indirectly, electronic waste is endangering life on earth, whereas, our EWA pots enable life. Around seven years ago, the rising numbers of electronic waste caught my atten-


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