October 26, 2010
The student-led cleaning initiative continues. In fact, it has metamorphosed into something much bigger – the Amala Bharatam Campaign, a drive to clean all of Mother India.
Responding to the call from Chancellor Amma, hundreds of people have joined students and staff on their mission, as they go every week, sometimes several times a week, to clean roadsides, marketplaces and community areas.
“Right now, we are focusing on areas from Vallickavu to Oachira to Karunagappally,” explained Bri. Vandhana, who has led the student team on many cleaning missions, as the Amrita Sanjeevani coordinator.
On October 31, the team will be joined by several thousands of volunteers who will undertake to clean 54 places in Kerala simultaneously. The cleaning will also commemorate the 54th Kerala Day celebrations.
Vikas, a final-year B.Tech. student of Computer Science and Engineering at Amritapuri has participated in most of these cleaning drives. “I take this as a rare opportunity to clear the debts we owe to our mother nature and to live in harmony with her,” he commented. “I feel very satisfied after performing this seva.”
Added Akshara, a second-year B.Tech. student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, “We go to collect the trash in the bins we have placed, every three or four days. Everywhere people cooperate with us a lot.”
Cleaning trash, especially other people’s trash, is not something that one would normally enjoy. How is it that these students and other volunteers have become so motivated?
“We began when Chancellor Amma told us to undertake this activity, saying how much she wanted to see a clean Mother India,” the students shared. “Now Amma’s words and this mission have touched a thousand hearts. It is no longer the initiative of this campus only; it will soon engulf the entire nation.”
Besides participating in the actual cleaning, the students contribute with prior preparations. After deciding which area to clean next, they visit the place, marking out spots for student teams to tackle. Registration desks help anticipate approximately how many volunteers will come, so as to prepare with an adequate number of tools, protective gloves and face masks.
“It is students themselves who dig pits to bury the biodegradable waste, transport the recyclable waste back to campus for sorting and try to generate awareness among the public so that future littering is avoided,” elaborated Bri. Vandhana. “In a few months, they have completely cleaned several stretches of many kilometers.”
These students are moving ahead on their clean-up drive with determination. They are willing to do what it will take to bring about a transformation in our society. They are ready to work from dawn to dusk, if needed, to achieve their beloved Chancellor’s vision. Are you?