Sara Joseph says garbage plant affecting life

Development should be in tune with the needs of the people, writer Sara Joseph has said.

She was addressing a protest meeting organised by the Vilappilsala Aikyadardya Samithi in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

The meeting, a gathering of prominent socio-cultural activists, samithi members, and others, deplored the arrest of S. Burhan, leader of the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samara Samithi, and six others during an agitation last week. (By 5 p.m. a court at Kattakada ordered the release of Mr. Burhan and the others arrested along with him).

Taking exception to Emerging Kerala meet and related projects, she said, “Issues such as food security and waste management need immediate attention.Development is such a dear word to government officials and business administrators but it is dreaded by the common man.”

“We do not oppose the functioning of a waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala,” Ms. Joseph said, adding that objections had to be raised when its functioning became flawed and the lives of people in the vicinity got affected.

"Public awareness regarding the careful management of waste was necessary and those who claimed to be experts in development must put to use their resourcefulness to create an effective waste-management system,” she said.

“This movement is a coming together of men, women, children, and the elderly, united in their demands for a clean and safe living environment,” Ms. Joseph said.

Aikyadardya Samithi chairman Kanai Kunhiraman; journalist B.R.P. Bhaskar; and writers George Onakkoor and D. Vinayachandran termed the movement ‘unique and Gandhian.’ The speakers condemned the ‘aggressive tactics’ adopted by the police.