June 5 will see over 1,000 people come together to clean Nanmangalam Lake for 12 hours – 6 am to 6 pm.

World Environment Day This green group is planning a mass clean-up of water bodiesFacebook / Environmentalist Foundation of India
news Environment Monday, June 04, 2018 - 12:49

June 5 marks World Environment Day, and is bound to see a flurry of hashtag campaigns and offline events all related to conserving the environment. Many enthusiastic volunteers, who hope to do their bit for the world, will participate in these campaigns. A day or two later, people will move on to observing or celebrating other days, and World Environment Day will have to wait for its turn next year. A day for everything, and everything for a day.

But for those at Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), June 5 is a just a bigger opportunity to continue doing what they’ve always done. Arun Krishnamurthy, its founder, has been a relentless crusader for the restoration and maintenance of water bodies in the country. Gathering volunteers from across India, Arun plans to conduct mass clean-up sessions of water bodies in 17 different locations in cities like Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Nagapattinam, Chennai, Puducherry, Bengaluru, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata as part of EFI’s 11th edition of ‘For a Starter Volunteer for Water’ campaign.

June 5, being a working day, EFI has come up with a first of a kind clean-up program that’ll last for about 12 hours – from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening. “We’ve got 1,000 employees from DLF and its partner companies signed up for the clean-up that will take place in Nanmangalam Lake. The volunteers have been split in 4 batches and they’ll take turns in the clean-up,” says Arun.

Its first session on June 3 drew 3,100 volunteers in total, 1,900 volunteers in Chennai alone.

Another session has been planned on June 10.

These campaigns have been planned in different places across the city – the beaches of Pattinapakkam, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Injambakkam, Palavakkam and Mahabalipuram, and the lakes in Kazhipattur, Nanmangalam, Karasangal, Mudichur Seekana and Madambakkam. EFI will also be conducting this in six different states this year, as compared to the four states it held the event in last year.

A whopping 16.83 tonnes of trash – 9.6 tonnes from Chennai alone – was collected in just two hours across these locations.

The collected garbage will then be sorted into rubber waste, plastic waste, glass, etc., and sent to different sorting/recycling facilities in the city. “We’ve also got support from recyclers and the corporation to help us sort out the waste. Also, going forward, we’ve requested our volunteers to abandon one plastic item in their life. We’re focussing on straws, plastic plates, spoons, forks and bottles,” says Arun.

Now in its 11th year, EFI aims to restore 65 water bodies in 8 states. In 2017, they restored 39 water bodies across 4 states. EFI follows a very systematic approach in restoring water bodies. They will also be conducting the campaign the following week on June 10. For more details, check out their Facebook page here.

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