SOW organised ‘save the earth from plastic' campaign. The volunteers requested travellers to reduce the use of plastic and to maintain cleanliness inside Mambalam station.
“Quit pollution,” and solution,” “Don't burn our kids' future,” “Trains should run on rails and not on plastic trails.” With messages like these written on chart papers and cloth banners, some 45 students formed a long chain on platform number three of the West Mambalam railway station, proudly displaying their message to the passengers to spread awareness about harmful effects of plastics.
Celebrating its first anniversary, Save Our World (SOW), a group formed by the students of some 10 colleges in Chennai, is not new to organising such awareness campaigns. The 145-member group has students from Loyola, Anna University, Ethiraj College for Women, Quaid-e-milat College, Jain College, Gurunanak and Pratyusha college.
“It is a known fact that plastics are harmful to our environment but we still use them. it. By reminding people not to use it often, there is a good chance that we can bring about a change,” says Jaison, president of SOW.
Last year, the SOW began its ‘Save the Earth from Plastic' campaign from the Thiruvanmiyur station. It a major hit and they decided to organise a similar drive on their first anniversary, according to Jaison.
Asked why the group chose the West Mambalam station, Jaison said Mambalam station, Being the busiest one, station they organised the campaign at the Mambalam station to reach out to a large number of people. taught the message could be conveyed to large group of people. “T. Nagar Being a commercial area, large amount of plastics goes out from T.Nagar here to various parts of the city. Most people who buy plastic bottles and use plastic carry bags throw them off on the roads. The campaign focuses on teaching people to properly dispose of plastic.”
The volunteers requested travellers to reduce the use of plastic and to maintain cleanliness inside the station. “It is our responsibility more than a duty to keep our surroundings clean,” he added.
The SOW was expecting over 100 students to join the campaign, but many backed out at the last minute.
Amrita, a student of Ethiraj College, who recently joined the group said, came to know about SOW from her friends. Having keen interest in protecting the environment, she joined the group and this is the first major campaign she participated in. “Spreading awareness and educating the public is the best way to prevent global warming.”
Among the volunteers were young school kids who came to lend support to the campaign. Leticia from Thiruvanmiyur gave some noble advice. “People can use cloth bags instead of plastic. Shops should also ban use of poly-bags and instead use recycled paper bags. Plastic bottles should be disposed of with other non-biodegradable waste.”
As part of the campaign, the students also organised a special street play to educate people on keeping the station clean. Drawing attention of the passer by to the dump that the railway tracks have been converted into, the participants actors said that each railway station has 50 dustbins, and people should make use of them.
L.K. Hariharan, West Mambalam Station Manager, said that public must cooperate to keep the stations clean. “We have provided dustbins everywhere, kept at a distance of 10-feet. People should stop throwing rubbish on railway tracks. To educate people about negative effects of global warming, camps are essential,” he added.
Lauding the efforts of the students, the station manager said that the Southern Railway will always support such initiatives.