This year, as in all previous years, student members of Amrita Sanjeevani, the seva association at Amritapuri campus, got together on India’s Independence Day for seva.
They worshipped Bharat Mata by cleaning roads and waysides, sorting the trash and disposing it in an environmentally sound manner.
Below is a report by the student team that spearheaded these cleaning efforts.
Inspired by our beloved Amma, the students and staff of Amritapuri campus took a small step forward to realize Amma’s vision of having a clean and hygienic Mother India.
On August 15, a group of 160 students, 20 faculty and staff members started from campus.
We divided ourselves into several groups; each group had student and faculty coordinators and sufficient hygiene kits. From 10:30 am on, we got to work.
We had identified seven different locations from Vallikkavu to Vavvakkavu over a stretch of 5 kilometers. We sorted plastic, paper and metal items at these spots and brought the sorted trash items back to campus.
It was a great encouragement to see villagers and the passers-by appreciate our efforts. We posted sign boards about good and hygienic practices to increase awareness about cleanliness. We kept dustbins chained down, at all these seven spots.
We envisage that this effort will be ongoing, and we will collect garbage from these spots regularly. Inspired by Amma’s words, we are making a conscious effort to become as eco-friendly as possible by using bicycles to collect garbage, to reduce the usage of petroleum.
We hope to add a few kilometers extra every week on Sundays. We hope that our students from the Amritapuri campus will become role models for all youth in the nearby schools. Perhaps they will draw inspiration from our venture and do this in their surroundings.
Many countries have taken steps to bring about awareness of social hygiene. In Japan, for instance, government-sponsored awareness ads are played on television, that educate about the harmful effects of public spitting.
During the Tuesday satsang at the ashram, our beloved Amma explained the efforts of our students and staff to all ashramites and devotees, showered her praises and spoke words of appreciation. It was indeed the greatest reward for our team.
THE NOTICE THAT THE STUDENTS POSTED
AUM AMRITESHWARYAI NAMAHA
Inspired by our beloved Amma – Sadguru Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi – the renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader, the students and staff members of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, are beginning a small step towards cleaning our surroundings, to have a clean Mother India.
We humbly request your cooperation with the following in order to help improve social hygiene.
• Please do not spit on the road side. You may instead keep two cloth towels with you. Use one as you do, for regular needs, and the other, for spitting into. Reuse the towels after washing them in the evening. Spitting in public places may transfer diseases to many.
• Please do not litter. Please only put your rubbish in a bin. If you put your rubbish in the bins which we provide, we are ready to collect it.
• It is easy to control the habit of urinating in public places. Firmly decide to only use toilets for this purpose. We should feel ashamed that foreigners have written about Indians spitting, littering and urinating in public in books.
We request everyone who is interested to join hands with us and cooperate in this venture.
We especially request school students to help us in this endeavor to have a clean India. If everyone cleans their surroundings and public roads, at least once in a month, covering a stretch of 1 or 2 kilometers, that will help increase awareness in society. This will gradually change the attitude of the entire society and help us improve our outlook among foreigners.
Pray with your heart, serve with your hands.
August 20, 2010
Amrita Sanjeevani, Amritapuri Campus