While the mainstream parties talk of prohibition, development and freebies, a 29-year-old software engineer has thrown his hat into the ring to work for a green cause.
Chakravarthy Sundaraj hails from Karur district and is a member of Ilaignar Kootamaipu (Youth Federation), which he joined in February 2016 to help save the environment.
It is quite clear, he says, that Tamil Nadu is facing a serious environmental problem. â€śThere is a major shift in the climate itself: the temperatures have gone up, the ground water levels are decreasing drastically and rivers also are getting polluted due to industrial waste,â€ť he says.
Talking about his own Karur constituency, Chakravarthy says that the textile industries in the area pollute the rivers. â€śThe multicolored water comes from these textile industries and gets into the river. Illegal sand mining and cutting down trees for house construction by real estate firms are also major issues,â€ť he says.
He feels governance needs to be upgraded as well. â€śThere needs to be a change in governance. We need people to monitor what the government is doing.â€ť
Chakravarthy was interested in the environment from the time he was in school and was part of a scout troupe. â€śI was a part of the scouts and we used to plant trees, clean temples which were shut for long and also help poor people,â€ť he says.
He even won the Rajya Puraskar award for excelling in the Scouts and Guides while he was in school.
After attaining an engineering degree, he started working as a software programmer and there too he found himself involved in social work initiatives. â€śWe used to be involved in CSR activities in office like cleaning beaches and helping poor people,â€ť he says.
But how interested are young people in environmental issues? â€śThe youth just require a platform and I think they will really be interested in being part of an environmental initiative,â€ť he said.
Other than creating awareness about environmental issues, Chakravarthy wants to help the poor. He wants people to be rehabilitated from the streets and children to receive a good education.
Chakravarthyâ€™s role model is former President APJ Abdul Kalam and he often listens to his speeches.
As for why Chakravarthy did not join a mainstream party, he says: â€śWhat I love about my party is that we do not have a specific leader. We all discuss together and take a decision. In other parties, it is not the same.â€ť
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