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Nearly one lakh students, faculty and staff members of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Amrita Vidyalayams took a pledge to strive for a clean India. This marked the formal launch of Chancellor Amma’s Amala Bharatam campaign in South India.
“The earth is our divine mother,” the students and their teachers chanted in unison. “Cleanliness is considered equal to godliness. We pledge that we will devote our coming days to maintaining cleanliness in our surroundings.”
The previous day, these students, faculty and staff members had worked alongside volunteers including doctors, government officials and sanyasins to clean nearly 75 places across 14 districts in Kerala.
“This was our tribute to Kerala on its 54th formation day,” noted the students.
And what a tribute it was! Thousands of tons of waste were removed from the national highway running across the length of the state; waste that was responsible for major health and hygienic issues for the common man.
At the Amritapuri campus, nearly 1200 students participated. Arriving at their assigned spots on NH 47 at 8.00 am, they set to work. Experienced now, from having participated in several such clean-up drives over the past few months, it didn’t take them very long to complete the cleaning task.
Several sections of the national highway that were previously used as open dumps or landfills by residents of the nearby towns now stood spotlessly clean.
At several places, that had seen waste accumulation over several years, JCBs and tipper trucks assisted. As on previous missions, municipal authorities, police officials and BSNL staff assisted the Amrita students.
Tons of biodegradable waste that was removed from the roadsides was buried at previously identified spots; the non-biodegradable waste was taken to the recycling center at Amritapuri.
“This was our eighth time cleaning,” shared the students. “Today’s was the most ambitious project yet; we cleaned 22 kms along NH 47; the stretch from Vavvakkavu to Haripad.”
And thus began the Amala Bharatam Campaiagn as students and other volunteers strive to understand the social relevance of Chancellor Amma’s call for cleanliness and respond to her call for action.
We salute these intrepid students; may their selfless example inspire countless others to contribute to this noble cause.
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