Volunteers make lakes plastics free

Over the weekend, residents and volunteers teamed up to clean the Nanmangalam and Tiruneermalai lakes, where 90 per cent of the collected waste constituted various types of plastics.
; EFI members with the collected waste
; EFI members with the collected waste

Chennai

Chiranjeevi S, an employee of Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI), said that around 20 volunteers participated in the clean-up on Saturday and Sunday, ahead of the World Environment Day on June 5.
 “The Nanmangalam lake clean-up was executed on Saturday, while the Tiruneermalai lake clean-up was conducted on Sunday. The water levels in these lakes were low. A door-to-door awareness for the people living near the lake preceded the two-day event. We also segregated the waste into clean, soiled plastics and glass bottles. Later, the Panchayat officials collected the waste,” said the youngster. In addition, there was a wall-painting session, involving  the children from the local communities. “Through art, we try to create awareness about lakes, the importance of keeping them clean and protecting our environment,” said the youngster. 
The effort is aimed at reviving water habitats and maintaining them as bio-diversified hotspots. A community-based conservation  model, focused on involving the public in conserving freshwater bodies, was adopted. Raj Ganesh, a 35-year-old chartered accountant, said that he started volunteering for lake clean-up activities, after he saw the condition of the lakes near his residence. “The Periya Eri in Tiruneermalai and Veeraraghavan Lake in  Chrompet are a stone’s throw away from my house. When I used to pass by the lakes daily, the bad condition made me want to do something. This is the least I could do. After seeing the quantum of plastic waste generated, I started minimising the use of plastics at home. I carry my bag, when I go for grocery shopping,” said the volunteer.

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