If he turned heads with his dhoti and angavastram on Friday, on Saturday, a video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi walking barefoot, picking up trash from the Kovalam beach after his morning walk, set off another social media storm.
In his tweet, Mr. Modi said: Plogging at a beach in Mamallapuram this morning. It lasted for over 30 minutes. Also handed over my ‘collection’ to Jeyaraj, who is a part of the hotel staff. Let us ensure our public places are clean and tidy! Let us also ensure we remain fit and healthy.”
(Plogging is about runners (or walkers) picking up trash along the way, or after their run/walk, and disposing it off responsibly.)
Responding to the tweet, fisherman K. Vinod of Ocean Awareness group, who cleans fishing hamlets, said: “When the Prime Minister can do it, why can’t ordinary people too. ”
Mamallapuram resident Aine Edwards had posted several photographs of how clean the town and beach looked after the summit. “It just shows that the town has the potential to be clean. The humans, who cleaned it up so beautifully, did a good job. But can they keep it that way?” she asked.
However, there were those who criticised the PM’s exercise. Actor Prakash Raj on Twitter said: “Where is our LEADERs security.. Why have you left him alone to clean with a CAMERAMAN following .... #justasking .”
Kancheepuram District Collector P. Ponniah said the plastic must have washed up onto the beach. “Since the beach is visited by tourists, it is usually kept clean. We had also cleaned up the beach before and during the summit,” he said.