Life & Style

A neurosurgeon leads a cleaning campaign in Kochi

A month ago, Udaya Colony — near the South Railway Station in Kochi — was a foul-smelling dump overflowing with garbage. Now it is clean and inviting, thanks to the efforts of Dr Arun Oommen, a neurosurgeon at Lakeshore Hospital.

The initiative began when Arun responded to

A neurosurgeon leads a cleaning campaign in Kochi
Via Kochi’s story on Instagram. The print and online platform used Instagram to ask citizens to come up with proposals that would “seriously” change the city.

“The response from Dr Arun surprised us as he wanted action and not words,” recalls Jayakrishnan Pillai, founder, Via Kochi, adding that Arun had a clear plan. That was the start to the Play Kochi campaign.

“I have been thinking about the cleanliness of our beautiful city. Kochi gets so many tourists but its beauty is overshadowed by the garbage dumps. I felt, as a resident, I must do something and motivate the public,” says Arun.

He suggested they begin with Udaya Colony. A call for volunteers from Via Kochi brought 34 responses in just the first hour. “We had to refuse so many youngsters. The youngest was a nine-year-old boy and the oldest a 60-year-old,” says Jayakrishnan.

The clean-up was funded by Arun and the garbage was manually removed. The local residents also pitched in to clear the area of plastic waste; the area’s councillor also offered some help. Once the area was cleared of garbage, it was filled with soil. The wall was cleaned and painted.

Arun assures that this is not a one-off initiative. Along with the Play Kochi campaign, he plans to collaborate with the civic authorities and increase the number of bins in the area, honour and motivate janitors and ragpickers.

Though his profession keeps him busy, Arun finds time to spearhead and participate in these activities. “Everybody has 24 hours. I love my job and my city. I consider this aspect as a hobby. More investments and more tourists will come Kochi’s way once it is clean.”

Following the footsteps of a Government official who conducted several clean-ups in Kozhikode and was popularly called Collector Bro, Arun is now known as Doctor Bro.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 4:33:36 PM |

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