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Citizens ring in 2016 with change
The New Year has begun, but Chennaiites have not forgotten the lessons from the calamity of the past year in the form of floods. As they step into 2016, people have decided to celebrate it differently. Various clean-ups and rehabilitation works are being organised during the first week of January.
Chennai Trekking Club along with Students Sea Turtle Conservation Network [SSTCN] is organising a beach clean-up drive on January 2 at Broken Bridge and on January 3 at Foreshore Beach near Marina from 3 pm to 5:30pm. “We are calling out to volunteers to clean the beaches and give a helping hand to those Ridley Turtles that return every year to our coast to breed,” says Vinodh Sundar, a volunteer.
Female turtles return to the beach every year to lay their eggs. The incubation period is usually between 45 and 51 days but it may also extend to close to 70 days. “Hatching success can vary by beach and year, due to changing environmental conditions and rates of nest predation. During the December rains and floods, tonnes of garbage were flushed out of the city’s rivers. Garbage poses a considerable threat to the Ridleys. There is very little time left to remove this threat from our beaches,” he says.
People For Cattle in India (PFCI), this year, will open a new shelter on ECR. “Located in Akkarai, this shelter will house all the animals who are rescued during the flood. Usually, when we rescue an animal, we send it back to its natural environment. When it comes to animals rescued during the flood, it will not be possible. As some have broken legs or spine, we provide them a home at our shelter. We will be giving free vaccinations here,”says Arun Prasanna, founder of PFCI.
A large section of the transgender population in the city were left in the lurch, after floods. Chennai Assemble, a volunteer group started by college students, are reaching out to the community. Shashi, founder of the group, says, “We will be providing targeted rehab to about 260 transgenders with the help of three LGBTQ groups. We will be giving them supplies for a month that includes stove and tailoring machines to help them get back on their feet. We are also looking at providing psychological counselling in schools. We have already held a camp in Saidapet.”
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