However, the situation seems to be changing as activists are no longer able to work freely in the State, a recent encounter with an environmental activist who is campaigning against dumping of biomedical waste in water bodies revealed.
While talking about dumping of biomedical waste in Tiruneermalai lake by certain private hospitals in the city, a well-known environmental activist mentioned that he no longer monitors it as vigilantly as before because doing so could cost him his life. He said that there have been instances of attacks on activists who questioned private hospitals over dumping biomedical waste in waterbodies. Despite being aware of the names of the hospitals who are involved in dumping biomedical waste in the waterbodies, he said that he could not raise any complaint and expressed helplessness in resolving the issue. “This is the plight of most activists in the State,” he said.
But then, over the course of reporting various issues in the city, this scribe has also come across those activists who simply dish out data and statistics without sticking their necks out in the field. In a recent encounter with another well-known activist in the city, the scribe was surprised to find that the activist had so much data about the condition of beaches across the country as well as the world but confessed to have not visited any in the city so far. Now, that’s probably called ‘safe activism’.
— Swedha Radhakrishnan, Chennai