ORIGIN: Formed in the year 1985, and formally inaugurated by poet Sugathakumari two years later, the Aluva-based Association for Environmental Protection (AEP) is said to be one of the oldest public bodies that came into existence championing the cause of environmental protection. Governed by a 15-member council, the tag line of AEP that says ‘Man seeks clean air, clean water and clean earth’ endorses their stance.

ACTIVITIES: Of all their activities, the reckless exploitation of River Periyar has always remained a matter of serious concern for AEP. “Our key areas of activity include awareness programmes on various aspects of environmental protection, agitation against gross violations and litigations against the violators”, says Chinnan T. Pynadath, general secretary of the organisation.

The Association for Environmental Protection designed an environment awareness programme titled ‘Students’ Empowerment for Environmental Development’ (SEED) for school students, and it was implemented in almost 7000 schools across Kerala with the active support of a Kerala-based media group. Similarly, AEP has also given shape to a new project called ‘Family Initiative in Environmental Enrichment and Development’ (FEED), which will incorporate every neighbourhood in Aluva and is looking for collaborators for its implementation.

This apart, they also played a pivotal role in forming environment clubs in numerous schools in and around Aluva. Very recently, the Supreme Court gave AEP a favourable ruling in a lawsuit filed by them eight years ago against an unauthorised restaurant along the River Periyar.

Since 1997 AEP has been giving away Bhoomimitra awards annually to an individual in honour of his/her commendable service for the cause of environmental protection. Over the years, AEP has brought out numerous pamphlets stressing the importance of conserving various natural resources such as water, soil and forests. Aptly illustrated and written in a lucid language, the printed material addresses its target group which includes both students and laymen. In the year 2011, AEP, in close collaboration with a number of Government organisations, organised a national seminar on the topic ‘The Conservation of the Ecology of Western Ghats’. Yet another regular programme organised by AEP revolves around the observance of a number of special days such as World Environment Day and Earth Day.

IMPACT: Through incessant interventions such as dharnas, padayatras, seminars, fact finding studies, awareness programmes, debates, exhibitions, pamphlet distribution, litigations etc, the Association for Environmental Protection brought about a qualitative change in places surrounding Aluva. Moreover, they also spread the message that it is through a collective approach that planet Earth can be retained as a better place to live in.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To reach out to Association for Environmental Protection and their comprehensive environment related initiatives call 8593936705 (President) or 9447474707 (General Secretary).