The project will focus on training the local people to recycle their waste and to promote sanitation amongst the villagers

Sanitation and solid waste management, especially in coastal areas, is a matter of critical importance. In order to preserve the coastal villages across Puducherry, Pondicherry University is joining hands with the National Cadet Corps to bring about a change in at least a few villages along the coast.

Initially, the project will look at one or two villages, Kalapet, and possibly one village in Tamil Nadu, and then, after assessing the level of success achieved and other parameters, it will be expanded. The project will be spearheaded by the Department of Ecology & Environmental Sciences and will be enforced with the help of the NCC cadets, NCC Commandant M.K. Joshi told The Hindu.

The idea is to improve the condition of the coastal environment in the long term. It will focus on training the local people to recycle their waste and to promote sanitation amongst the villagers, including training them to stop the practice of open defecation, Assistant Professor of the Department of Ecology and Environment Sciences G. Poyyamoli said.

It will also be a way to build an organic linkage between the university, NCC and the villagers.

They will be taught simple techniques that are manageable in the long run, which will lead to a long-term improvement to their areas and lives.

Most people concentrate only on urban areas, but there is a great need to improve the conditions in the rural areas, which is why this project was conceived, he said.

Seminar held

As a precursor to the collaboration, there was a seminar held at the NCC headquarters in Lawspet, where cadets were given an understanding on the various issues the coastal ecosystem faces.