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31st Oct 2010
Students of Amrita University take up the call of Amma to “Amala Bharatam” – Clean India Beautiful India”. Felt inspired and spreading the awareness to clean the whole country.
Come join us. Let us keep the country clean.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) will deploy 1,500 ‘AmalaBharatam’ sanitation volunteers for carrying out a two-day pre-pilgrim season cleaning drive at Sabarimala and Pampa on November 1 and 2.
MAM has been an active participant in the intensive cleaning operation planned by the State government at Sabarimala for the past three years. Sabarimala is the one of the largest Hindu pilgrimage center located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Kerala. The Sabarimala temple, surrounded by mountains and dense forest, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is open to all faiths. Millions of devotees visit this temple every year strictly observing 41 days of vow and celibacy.
The volunteers comprise residents of the Mata Amrtitanandamayi Ashrams and students of various Amrita educational institutions attached to Amrita University.
The MAM used to deploy 3,000 to 4,000 volunteers in the previous years. The reduction in their number, this year, was due to the reduction in the quantity of waste accumulated at the pilgrim centre owing to the periodic cleaning drive carried out during the past years.
TheAmalaBharatam volunteers would carry out the cleaning drive from Sannidhanam to Pampa on November 1 and along the Pampa-Laha stretch on November 2.
The volunteers would also clear plastic waste from the forests on either side of the Laha-Pampa stretch of the main trunk road leading to Sabarimala. The ABC volunteers in uniform would bring gloves and various other implements required for waste collection and cleaning at the pilgrim centre.
The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, would open temporary healthcare units at Pampa and Sannidhanam with ambulance facility in the service of the volunteers engaged in the cleaning drive.
Women inmates at the Ashram and girl students at various educational institutions of the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham will also take part in the cleaning operation at Pampa.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math has organised another major clean-up drive at the sacred Sabarimala Sannidhanam and Pampa riverside on Nov 9thand 10th before the onset of the festival season, responding to the request from Travancore Devaswom Board and the Kerala State Government.
This is the fifth edition of Sabarimala cleanup drive undertaken by the ashram in the past two years. The present drive is also on the lines of the massive clean-up and waste disposal drive carried out by the MAM in the past two years when garbage piled up for decades were removed and disposed off by the selfless service and committed efforts of volunteers and devotees of Amma.
Nearly 1500 devotees from all districts of Kerala are expected participate in the clean up drive this year. Hundreds of devotees, ashram inmate’s, students and staff volunteers of Amrita University are participated in the cleaning drive which will include both Sannidhanam and Pampa.
Sabarimala continues to suffer from the lack of a proper waste management system resulting in the piling up of waste after conclusion of each festival season. Implementation of a scientific waste management system that includes sorting waste at the source and disposing of the waste using appropriate means can go a long way in making Sabarimala a clean and hygienic place for millions of pilgrims thronging the sacred temple every year.
The present drive is hoped to free Sabarimala of all its plastic, paper, clothes, metallic and other miscellaneous waste that has been littered all over the holy grounds and the forest. Recyclable and non-recyclable items will be segregated and collected separately and will be handed over to the Sabarimala Ecology department for proper disposal.
The MAM has already made available at the site various cleaning tools and equipment for the cleanup drive. Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi has made arrangements for providing well-equipped medical care including ambulance facilities. The Travancore Devaswom Board is providing food and lodging for all volunteers.
“It was a wonderful experience to take part in the cleaning mission of the Math at India’s well known pilgrim centre. The Ayyappa devotees should take extra care to maintain the serene atmosphere of this forest environs, ensuring better cleanliness,” Xabier Jauregui, biologist from Spain was all smiles while coming out of river Pampa after completing the cleaning drive.
Marthu Gonzalez, a dentist from Spain and Celine Bussinger, hydraulic engineer from France, too considered it a God-sent opportunity to take part in the cleaning drive at Pampa.
As many as 65 foreign nationals, 3,400 sanitation volunteers of the Amala Bharatham project of the Math from different parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which includes 800 women volunteers attached to the educational institutions of the Math, took part in the cleaning operation held at Pampa on Sunday.
The volunteers removed as many as 5,000 bags of solid waste from river Pampa, and surroundings areas, besides 10,000 bags of recyclable waste from the Sannidhanam. The recyclable waste collected in separate bags have been shifted to the Valiya Nadapanthal for transporting it to Pampa, later in the two-day intensive cleaning drive. This is the fifth time MAM is doing the cleanup drive at Sabarimala.
24th of March was the fourth Sunday of the month which was also World TB Awareness Day.
Amma devotees in Mangalore as usual started the special day with the collection of cleaning materials from the store room in the local ashram, and proceeded to that part of the city marked off one month ago for ABC this month. The four Friday-meetings before the forth Sunday- as has been done all these 24 months- had decided all the details such as: number of participants, from which of the fourteen city colleges that have joined hands in this public seva, their breakfast, the implements including gloves and masks, duration of the work, their transport et all.
The event also marked the second anniversary of ABC in Mangalore inaugurated by Amma Herself two years ago.
Sri. Yogeesh Bhat, the local MLA as well as the Deputy Speaker of the Vidhana Sabha of Karnataka Legislature, attended the program. He recalled Amma’s vision of Amalabharatam: Clean surrounding as well as clean hearts and minds will eventually bestow Divinity everywhere. Sri Bhat lauded Amma’s Manglore devotees for being instrumental in causing awareness among Mangloreans and the local authorities about cleanliness and hygiene. He also mentioned how this regular cleaning work has drawn the attention of the local media and the public.