29,000 bags of waste removed by volunteers
As many as 2,700 volunteers of the Amala Bharatam mission of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) began a two-day intensive cleaning operation at Pampa, Sabarimala and along the trekking path on Saturday morning.
The MAM mission is to clear the filth accumulated at South India’s largest pilgrimage centre situated in the Periyar Tiger Reserve in a time-bound and systematic manner, preparatory to the 10-day annual festival at the Lord Ayyappa Temple that begins on Monday.
The Amala Bharatam volunteer force comprise of disciples of the spiritual leader, Mata Amritanandamayi and students of various educational institutions attached to MAM from different parts of the State as well as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The cleaning programme in Pampa in the foothills of Sabarimala was jointly inaugurated by M.P. Govindan Nair, Travancore Devaswom Board president, and P. Venkat Rangan, Vice-Chancellor of Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham in the morning.
The TDB chief said the MAM initiative has opened a new chapter in the sanitation programme at Sabarimala.
As many as 1,219 Amala Bharatam volunteers were deployed at Pampa. A majority were girls and women. The TDB member, Subhash Vasu, and Kesav V. Shenoy, executive director of BPCL, jointly launched the drive.
MAM has deployed as many as 1,529 volunteers at the Sannidhanam.