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Updated: November 23, 2011 19:24 IST

41-day campaign to clean Vembanad Lake

Staff Reporter
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A clam collector in the Vembanad Lake shows that nearly a third of
each of his catches is plastic waste. A 41-day campaign is on to clean
the lake to the maximum extent possible. Photo: Special Arrangement.
A clam collector in the Vembanad Lake shows that nearly a third of each of his catches is plastic waste. A 41-day campaign is on to clean the lake to the maximum extent possible. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Coinciding with the 41-day Mandalam season connected to Sabarimala, fishermen and clam collectors on the Vembanad Lake are engaged in a campaign to cleanse the lake of its plastic impurities.

The unfortunate phenomenon of fish, clam and other aquatic life being regularly trapped and killed in plastic waste dumped in the lake has prompted the fishermen and clam collectors, for whom the lake is their only source of livelihood, to take up the campaign.

Aided by organizations including the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), the Vembanad Nature Club and the Vembanad Lake Protection Samithi, the campaign began on November 17 and has the fishermen and clam collectors amassing the plastic waste that gets entangled in their nets every day in one spot. The plastic thus amassed will be displayed before the authorities at the end of the campaign to stress on the enormity of the situation.

“The campaign is being held alongside the 41-day Mandalam season since the 41-day penance signifies purification of the body and mind. Similarly we aim to purify the lake to whatever extent we can,” ATREE project coordinator Jojo T.D. said.

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