A New Challenge For Kerala As Onam Festivities Near End

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A group of volunteers clearing garbage at Kannakakunnu Palace ground in Thiruvananthapuram


Thiruvananthapuram:  As Kerala reaches the end of its 10-day long Onam festivities, the foremost challenge is the garbage. In the state's capital Thiruvananthapuram, the corporation has been working in shifts, to ensure the public places are cleaned in the mornings but that hasn't sufficed.

"Dog bites are anyway an issue in Kerala and this waste makes it worse, coupled with the threat of diseases. Government really needs to do something," says Ganga Jaypalan, a student.

But while many are left complaining, a group of young volunteers from VIVO - an NGO in Thiruvananthapuram - took up the task of cleaning Kannakakunnu Palace ground, one of the main centres for the 10-day long Onam celebrations, visited by more than a lakh people.

"We have a vision of changing this city, and no better way that cleaning up the city", said Ronnie David, while sweeping and picking up garbage.

A school student in utter disgust loudly exclaimed, "It's the fourth diaper I am picking up today. Why do people need to throw diapers in the open?" She was among the group of people who collected around 50 sacks of waste.

Thiruvananthapuram Corporation estimates show a 25 per cent increase in daily waste collected in last 10 days from the state's capital itself, due to the Onam festivities.

 "This group is doing a very good job. We need such people who are passionate about their city and will set the right example. But the problem is within hours this place will be full of garbage again," said Mr Anirudh, an observer who was taking a morning walk.

Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is aiming to make city plastic bag free by January 26.

"We have a lot to do, including awareness. But our biggest challenge is plastic. People just use and throw all around and we don't have a proper mechanism to deal with it also," said V K Prashanth, the Corporation mayor.


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