Thiruvananthapuram: The Green Beacon project at Varkala municipality has officially started waste management on March 1. The project is important for two reasons, according to Haritha Keralam Mission vice-chairperson T.N. Seema. Varkala was a tourist destination and Sivagiri was a centre of pilgrims, she said, inaugurating the collection. The campaign was applauded by S Subramanian, Director of Field Publicity (Kerala and Lakshadweep), Swachh Sarvekshan, who travelled to Varkala, to distribute mementos to the team. The project is a joint initiaitve of Varkala Municipality and Suchitwa Mission with Pelican Foundation offering the technical support.
The project, if successful, would be a model that Kerala can showcase to people from other countries. It is trying out quite a few interesting strategies. One, the project campaigners have been doing groundwork, to take people into confidence, since last year. They campaigned especially about the ill effects of using and burning plastic in various wards, and garnered as many as 500 volunteers who on their own supported the project. Later, they implemented green protocol during Varkala Sivagiri pilgrimage quite successfully.
Another interesting strategy they have decided on is the use of masks. Project Head Vaiakh Vijayan says, “Everyone, be it the green technician who collects waste or the green executives who support the campaign, will wear the same uniform, so that there is no discrimination. Waste collectors should not be regarded as lesser persons.” The ward where the collection started is temple ward. The team managed to cover 90 houses. Though there are 300 houses, since most of these are locked, the percentage of houses covered is almost 60 per cent, according to Vaisakh.