It was altogether a very different experience, a first of its kind for the local residents at the Kazhakuttom bypass leading to Technopark on May 13, 2008. They were witnessing a handful of young software professionals who had rolled up their sleeves on to clean the road and nearby areas leading to Technopark, after five days of working on the keyboard in the splendid air-conditioned glass-and-chrome buildings. This was a concerted effort by the Color Green Task force at UST Global, and it was part of the intensive “Pre-monsoon Cleaning Drive 2008” at the Technopark Campus and nearby areas. For contributing and making it a success, these pros had joined hands with the Government of Kerala, Corporation of Trivandrum and Technopark authorities. Each of them volunteered passionately for this novel and noble sanitation mission in removing weeds, overgrown vegetation, and helped scavenging & cleaning.
Contrary to the belief and presumption, they did not use any of the sophisticated cleaning machines, instead used mattocks and pickaxes when they ventured out in for this mission. Most of them were seen competing to remove the weeds with vigor and enthusiasm. They had cleaned the roads with brooms and used metal plates for scraping the dirt. Finally, they disposed off the garbage to dumps and returned fulfilled & gratified. The volunteers certainly enjoyed this unique physical work involved in de-weeding and cleaning. This sanitation mission was also aimed at sensitising the fellow professionals about the need for cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.
Meanwhile, they also have formulated plans to actively contribute in creating awareness on pollution control, waste management, help tackle environmental issues by planting of saplings in different parts of Kerala in association with Social Forestry, facilitating different programs related to conservation of environment etc.
With this mission, these groups of IT pros were also conveying a strong message that for a democracy to be effective, one of the most important requisites is that the people should participate in the process. They were also accentuating the fact that sanitation is not the responsibility of the local self-government institutions or city corporations alone, the public have a prominent role in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness. For this to happen there has to be a change in the mindset of the people. Letâ€™s hope that programs like these would create more awareness among the common man, educated youth and young professionals.
Time has come for introspection, and each of us must understand that we have to give up the habit of dumping garbage in the neighborhood, locality, public places, ponds and canals. Yes, public health is everyoneâ€™s concern and responsibility. And, each of us must possess the zeal and drive to save our country from pollution to make it a better place to live in.
(photos will be added soon…)[Hari Nair]