A Sequel for a Cause

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It has hardly been 8 months since the 1st Chennai Coastal Clean Up by CTC. Last year, May 2010 saw an unprecedented event in the history of Chennai; Chennai coasts were steered clear of all the muck n the dirt caused by humans by less than 300 souls and in the process amassed 9 tonnes of garbage. Having realised that this mammoth effort cannot be the end all of the clean-up activity, CTC took further initiatives to ensure that the neighbourhood beaches were cleaner and maintained that way every few months.

So why need another herculean effort, why get the conservative chennaite from a sober Sunday morning to clean the backyard of one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world. The reason was simple – All was not well with the beaches of Chennai – yet again. Surprise Surprise!!! Don’t be... most of us live in an oblivion world that simply does not care about Mother Nature & more importantly, one of the most important ecosystems offering livelihood to a few million people in the city of Chennai.

A reconnaissance mission by the members of the CTC in December found the Chennai coasts badly in want of another massive clean-up effort. A sequel clearly was in the offing. It’s amazing what a single email from the founder himself can do to those who have been part of the greatest trekking club in Chennai’s history till date. The numbers spiralled from 100 in the first few days to about 300 in a couple of week’s time. Unlike trekking, where treading on virgin forests in huge numbers is a cause for concern, a clean-up effort such as this one needed every little hand that the city could offer & thankfully, more was in store with Chennai’s socially responsible corporate world pitching in with their share of employees. In no time, did we touch 500.

A couple of meetings amongst the organisers to iron out the logistics issues viz. Boarding points, distribution of bags and collection of garbage after the cleanup, we were ready for D-day.

Come 4:30 AM, Sunday, Jan 8th 2011, members of the CTC arrived at predetermined boarding points from where they would be led to 15 different sub zones within the 15km stretch from Marina to Injambakkam. The team leads with the bags & gloves sponsored by Biotec proceeded to their respective locations. At 6 AM, The largest cleaning effort in Chennai Beaches, Mission CCC II had begun.

Anna University pitched in with 55 NSS volunteers, Nokia – 150 employees from its factory, 45 software techies from HP, 72 NSS volunteers from Coromandel, 14 students from the Anna Violet College and a few members of the Tree Bank joined hands with about 200 CTC volunteers in the second mammoth effort. In about 2 hours, 800 bags of garbage and muck were collected in totem.

A special mention on the fisher folk of Foreshore Estate, who could not stand watching strangers, clean up their dirt and offered to help with the effort. No event is complete without a few unique moments and when it involves children from all walks of life, there is always hope that all is not lost.

Every good deed begets another. Unfortunately though, this sequel can never be a proud moment for any chennaite, although, a few hundred selfless warriors joined hands to clear the disaster for now – the city has to come together to tackle this menace that continues to outgrow itself in size & the damage it could cause to our ecosystem.


Niladri Pradhan on: January 10, 2011 at 12:39 PM said...

Yesterday was a first day event for me with CTC (Injamvakam seashore cleanup) I can not express my feelings. It was a great experience to be a part of CTC .



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