NYU Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) Class of 2019 alumnus Chandan Mishra’s organic waste project at Bloom Nepal School has won the Zayed Sustainability Prize under the category of Global High School in South Asia. The win was announced during the 13th edition of the award ceremony, which took place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020.
After graduating last year with a major in Civil Engineering, Mishra returned home to Nepal to work with underprivileged school children. Dedicated to giving back to his community, Mishra took on the role of the Executive Director at Bloom Nepal School, where he launched a project that converts organic waste into biogas for purposes such as cooking in the school’s kitchen or for energy using a gas engine generator, as well as the use of organic manure for sustainable agriculture practices by distributing to local farmers to promote organic farming.
“We, at the embassy are delighted for Chandan and his inspiring project at Bloom Nepal School for winning the Zayed Sustainability Prize. Having gotten to interact with him personally and his dedication to give back to his country will probably encourage other Nepali youths in their endeavors to work harder and aim higher in the future. We hope the goal of the school reach the heights of transforming the education system along with sustainability.”
Currently, the Bloom Nepal School relies on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders for cooking purposes, which are both costly and unsustainable. With this project, led by Mishra, the school aims to reduce the reliance on LPG Cylinders to 40 percent in the first year and 0 percent from the second year onwards.
The project also includes active student involvement required as a part of their ‘Environmental Education’ program, a mandatory yearlong course required for all Bloom students. With this project, Bloom aims to encourage the local community and the students integrate the local community and the students towards fostering a more sustainable environment.
"Having been based in a developing country where the idea of sustainability is still premature, it is a matter of great pride for us to receive the Zayed Sustainability Prize in recognition of our efforts to promote sustainability in this region via our curriculum and project works. We are very excited about the prospect of taking a step further and utilize the Zayed Sustainability Prize to promote sustainability efforts in our community through our project that involves active participation from our students, teachers, and people of our locality."
NYUAD’s Dean of Engineering Samer Madanat said: “The solid training as an engineer that Mishra received at NYUAD, together with his participation in the Engineers for Social Impact (EfSI) have strengthened his understanding of sustainable construction practices. EfSI is a unique experience available to Engineering students at NYUAD, where they work directly in disadvantaged communities to help in building living spaces, jointly with Habitat for Humanity.”
Based in Mahalaxmi, Nepal, the Bloom Nepal School aims to form partnerships with local municipalities to recycle solid waste and convert it into clean energy, thus, making waste management effective and sustainable. Since the start of the project in 2019, Mishra and his team have also worked towards establishing residential schools in each of the newly formed provinces of Nepal, overseeing the design and construction of these schools. Currently Bloom has two residential campuses, one in Kathmandu and the one in Itahari, a major city in the Eastern Nepal and which has educated more than 600 students from 55 districts.