All hands were raised in the meeting hall in response to a question raised by the facilitator in a training program in Delhi, organized by ICLEI-South Asia, a network of more than 1750 local and regional governments for sustainable urban development worldwide. The participants were mayors and deputy mayors from Nepal and Bangladesh. And the question was: Have you dumped mobile phones or any other electronic devices within last year? The raised hands and the resounding ‘yes’ was an anticipated response and it is suggestive of the amount of electronic waste (e-waste) produced by just a group of around 60 individuals in the room.
At the beginning of my teenage, I developed an interest in electronic devices. Screwdrivers and fluke testers replaced my toys. I preferred unscrewing and screwing the electronic devices, stripping the wires with teeth, replacing the fuses, connecting two wires and taping the connection points rather than watching cartoons. These tasks, to me, were challenging, and as a curious teenager, I had no one to look up to but to explore videos to learn more.