Ever since the launch of the Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019 by the Prime Minister on 11th September, 2019, there have activities across the Madurai in Tamil Nadu by individuals, districts, NGOs and institutions in support of the campaign, the focus being ‘plastic waste awareness and management’.
SHS 2019 was held from 11th September to 2nd October, 2019, culminating with the Swachh Bharat Diwas as the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) dedicated an ODF India to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
Let’s build a hygenic-plastic free Madurai, the southern district’s tagline read as it actively promoted awareness about the need to eradicate plastic and introduce alternatives. Madurai Corporation Commissioner, Shri S. Visakan formed a committee that oversaw various activities. Among them was the awareness rally around Meenakshi Amman Temple flagged off by District Collector Shri T S Rajasekar and Shri Visakan on 18th September. Participants included students of Avvai Corporation School, district officials and local NGOs who raised slogans about the need to restrict plastic use; and distributed cloth bags as an alternative to plastic.
An awareness programme was inaugurated by Madurai Corporation Education Officer, Mrs. P. Vijaya on 19th September. Thereafter, students of Sethupathi Pandidurai Corporation School visited the nearby fish and vegetable markets and distributed cloth and jute bags. Even as plastic bags and other waste were dropped into bins marked as bio-degradable and non-biodegradable; vendors and customers were advised to avoid plastic bags.
Meanwhile, employees of Madurai Corporation (Zone 1) and students of Velliveedhiyar Corporation Higher Secondary School took out a mass rally on 18th September focusing on the on the same theme of eradicating plastic waste.
Elsewhere in the city, students of Madurai Corporation Umarupulavar High School held an awareness programme, their theme being “Let’s create a plastic-free Madurai city and let’s be green forever.” Thereafter, they walked around the markets of Nelpettai, through the Workshop lane and the residential areas of Vaigai Southern Bank on 21st September. Seeing them, people were encouraged to hand over their plastic waste voluntarily, considering that it was their own children who were propagating the need to eradicate plastic. The cultural programme that followed focused on the same theme, and was appreciated by parents and the general public.
Besides, all Madurai Corporation Schools held competitions on essay writing, drawing and poetry for students of primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools on eradication of plastic.