Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) has drawn up plans to clean the surroundings of 15,756 religious centres across the State to commemorate 75 years of Indian Independence.
Dharmasthala Pattadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade and his wife Hemavathi Heggade conceived the idea of taking up cleaning activities in religious places on the premise that cleanliness there will trigger concern among devotees for environment protection.
Thus, evolved Swatcha Shraddha Kendra scheme with the slogan Nammooru Namma Shraddha Kendra six years ago wherein temples, Basadis, masjids and churches in villages and towns are being covered, said SKDRDP Executive Director L.H. Manjunath.
The cleaning campaign with the active participation of the residents, elected representatives, voluntary organisations and others is being taken up twice a year — Makara Sankranthi and the Independence Day — across the State.
As the country is on the threshold of an important landmark, SKDRDP has identified over 15,000 such places across the State this year for cleaning, with the active involvement of all the stakeholders. And, it expects the participation of nearly four lakh volunteers from different walks of life, Mr. Manjunath said.
The voluntary exercise involves cleaning surroundings of places of worship and prayer by removing vegetation and other unwanted things. Focus will also be on cleaning the interiors of temples, masjids, churches and Basadis.
Cleaning of water sources surrounding these places — rivers, tanks, kalyanis and wells, will also be executed by volunteers.
Besides cleaning water sources of plastic, clothes and other wastes, the volunteers will create awareness among people about keeping them clean, Mr. Manjunath said.
Cleaning public toilets and public streets will also be taken up, while places of worship and prayer will be encouraged to shun the use of plastic bags and instead, use cloth bags.
Mr. Manjunath said that the project will also constitute a vigilance committee involving committed volunteers for overseeing cleanliness in these places, while providing environment-friendly baskets and other such things to be used as dust bins.
It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the premises of religious centres clean and SKDRDP will ensure that the campaign becomes successful, Mr. Manjunath added.