On Sunday, in various cities in south India including Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Bengaluru, people gathered in large groups near water bodies. Their goal: to beautify their shorelines and banks, and remove the scraps, bottles, plastic and other waste which mars and chokes the landscape around them.
As part of the India Clean Sweep, organised by Chennai Trekking Club and The Hindu, about 70 volunteers gathered at Hebbal lake in Bengaluru on Sunday morning. They started manually picking out non-biodegradable material and waste from around the lake at 6am. They manage to rid the banks of three tonnes of garbage.
Gowthami, communications head at Environmentalist Foundation of India, Bengaluru (EFI) told TNM that they were able to clear three tonnes of garbage in three hours. Two other corporates also sent volunteers, and BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad also participated in the drive.
Gowthami said that this was merely the first stage of the clean-up.
“This is the manual clean-up stage which we estimate will take about 15 weekends to complete if we put 3-4 hours during each session. After this, we plan to bring in machinery and mechanically desilt and deepen the lake. Then we will fence it, so that more garbage doesn’t enter it,” she explained.
Take a look at the photos here:
Similar clean-ups happened in other cities on Sunday. For instance, in Puducherry, volunteers cleaned the area around Velrampet lake; in Hyderabad, it was Kapra lake; in Coimbatore, volunteers came together for Selvachinthamani Kulam lake clean up.
In Chennai, thousands of volunteers gathered under the eighth edition of Chennai Coastal Cleanup to clear almost 50 tonnes of garbage from its 20-kilometre coastline.