Karaikal (Puducherry), Sep 27: An initiative started six weeks ago by Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi - the 'Clean and Green Karaikal' mission - has now become a mass movement with participation of hundreds of school and college students, MLAs and members of the public.
Bedi had during her maiden visit to Karaikal district on August 19 exhorted about 2,000 college students from all streams at an interactive meet to take part in the programme. She spoke of the power the student community has and suggested they devote one day a week to make Karaikal district clean.
The response was more than she could have hoped. Hundreds of them swung into action the very next day and cleaned the temple town of Tirunallar and planted saplings. Puducherry Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan, who was also present at the meet, coordinated the cleaning campaign.
Since then, for the past six weeks, the campaign is held every Saturday and is gaining strength every week. The campaign has so far been conducted at Kottucherry, TR Pattinam, Nedunkadu, Karaikal town and Nehru Nagar areas in the district, where extensive cleaning work has been carried out. Garbage near water bodies has also been cleaned.
Besides Kamalakannan, Karaikal District Collector P Parthiban and Sub-Collector R Kesavan have been at the forefront of the campaign, undertaking cleaning with students. Though only college students participated initially, school children, MLAs, public representatives and members of the public soon joined in large numbers and it has now become a mass movement.
The campaign at Nehru Nagar last Saturday saw hundreds of volunteers gather and the entire area became very clean.
"The cleaning campaign gives me immense satisfaction," said Kamalakannan, who has participated in all the campaigns.
"The volunteers are very enthusiastic and do a sincere job. In addition to clearing garbage, the movement has also helped create awareness among people on keeping surroundings clean as they see for themselves the huge quantity of plastic and other waste left on streets. We look forward to keeping up the momentum and cover all areas in the district in the coming weeks," he added.
Karaikal is an enclave of Puducherry in Nagapttinam district of Tamil Nadu.