ECR Beach Cleanup, Dec 18

[Written by Durai]
“We stood together as a natural barrier to save you from the killer waves;
We stand collectively providing you scenic beauty while you enjoy your ride on the coastal road;
We accommodate you and your folks charmingly and provide you with shade and comfort;
We intake the toxic smoke, we listen to the non-sense you utter, we on-look the shady things you perform;
But, why do you slash me with your broken bottles; why do you suffocate me with plastics and trash??”
The silent cry of the pine trees should have been lost in its beauty; the weep of the scenic beach must have been washed away by its waves – possibly leaving the by-passers untouched and the polluter to take pleasure in polluting.
Am convinced the cry of the pine tree and the moan of the beach were heard by a 70 year young man and a 7 year old kid who marched on a Sunday morning to make a difference within and outside.  With the elderly gentleman sharing the ever-green tales about the Scenic beach and with the strong hope of witnessing the beach as it was in the past and the innocent kid listening to the tales and wanting to see and feel for him what his grandpa was telling him was “nothing but the truth”.
The morning sea breeze with its gentle smoothness; the roaring waves breaking the silence in the air; the pine trees dancing to the music of sea breeze a small group of like minded CTCians made an attempt to wipe the tears of these pine trees and listen to the moan of the beaches. The few hands and the dedicated heart started to collect the plastics which formed as a layer above the sea sand not allowing the rain water to drain. Bending down closely to the earth and listening to the cries of the beach we picked up the litter and started filling our bags.
The bunch of young gals who came to spend their Sunday morning watching us cleaning up the beach with no hesitation and second thoughts wore the gloves and picked up the bags to collect the litter along with the silent but powerful vow they took “I will never litter my mother earth and suffocate it to breathe”. Like a snow ball which draws its strength when it rolls this clean up mission attracted more hands to clean the coast, we piled up heaps and heaps of litter with our dedicated and sincere work.
With the kids volunteering to carry the sins of our fellow country-men it was an emotional scene for the on-lookers which prompted their mind to raise a question to themselves “what did these innocent kids did, to carry our sins??” with no second thoughts few more hands joined the mission to collect the litter. The other CTCians despite the pain in on their thighs and hip collected the litter with much greater spirit. I am proud of the parents of these kids who had brought them to perform this righteous exercise and guiding them to become an environmental conscious person.
Although the spirit was very high to clean up the entire east coast we had very few hands which could clean up only a tranche of the pine forest. I am positive about the passer-by who stood to watch us cleaning will never pollute again; I am over-confident that the kids who joined us in cleaning will inspire more souls to swear “I will not pollute” and finally after reading this if it inspires one soul to think twice before dropping a plastic bag I would then treat the mission to have succeeded – till then…
Durai Murugan
[Written by Gayatri]
You know those lovely pine groves on East Coast Road just prior to the Crocodile Bank? Surely you have lamented that these beautiful picnic spots are usually strewn with trash. This past Sunday, a group of about 30 volunteers from the Chennai Trekking Club joined forces to take action. After the initial online call for volunteers, plans were coordinated via email. We met up early Sunday morning (!) at Thiruvanmiyur signal and proceeded to the most important point of order: breakfast at Hot Chips. The convoy of motorbikes and a few cars filled with sated passengers, who ranged in age from six to seventy years, then made its way to Kovalam.
 Immediately upon arrival, biodegradable trash bags and sexy yellow rubber gloves were handed out to all the volunteers. We fanned out across the approximately one square kilometer and got to work without much ado. We even recruited a busload of school girls from Vellore to help with the effort. It is phenomenal how much trash can accumulate. Discarded paper and plastic plates and cups were the norm and underlined the use of this space as a popular picnic spot, though we found everything from rubber chappals to used diapers. Condom covers and empty alcohol bottles gave a hint of potential nightly activities in the grove. 
If you check out the before and after photos on our forum, you will see the amazing transformation that took place over the course of the next three hours. We ended up collecting approximately 50 bags full of trash and lined them up along the highway as a visual admonition to not litter. The “display” will be collected by the local panchyat and disposed of responsibly. We woke up the next day with a clean conscience but sore muscles. Hmmm, could this selfless volunteer effort actually have doubled as a beneficial work-out?!    
[Written by Balaji M]
Sunday, Early morning by 3 i lost my sleep and was just watching TV. My Trek partner Rakesh texted me asking about the future trek we are organizing and left a note saying he is gonna attend the beach cleanup, There i got a energetic feeling and replied back him saying that im coming with you. Soon got ready Kicked off my bike, Picked up rakesh and we reached Thiruvanmiyur in 1 hr. Had a nice breakfast in a road shop which was too good.Then comes our volunteers meet everyone started gathering in thiruvanmiyur signal. 

Soon Peter came in and took a quick attendance of all volunteers so we got 3 cars and around 8 bikes, we then started towards ECR,Kovalam. Stopped at Hotchips for quick breakfast for volunteers, Meantime Peter got us Water,Garbage bags and gloves. We all reached the place next kovallam checkpost.It was pine farm 

I used to travel in ECR very often since my college days. I have crossed that pine farms and it will be so dirty and people who cross through that farm will relax there for while for a Breakfast or lunch and ofcourse they leave all the debris there.To be honest i never thought that we should clean the place but yesterday after we cleaned up the place it was really good see that place. Thanks to Peter who organized such a good thing and im really happy that i got a chance to do some good to society. 

We started cleaning the place around 10 and people of age group of 4 to 40 was involved. One thing which i noticed is a small kis who was involved in the cleaning. i feel really proud of him and his father who bought him for the cleanup. As he participated in this clean up for sure he will come to know about the importance to keep the society clean and he will teach the upcoming generation to be like him.In one hour we got at-least 20bags filled up with garbages and the one stretch of farm was clean. Then we proceeded with the other stretch and the clean up was done for about 3hrs and around 60 bags of garbage’s was collected. We arranged those bags in a row in ECR. People who crossed that way were watching those bags and came to know that its a cleanup of that farm. Im sure all of them would have got a thought that they should not litter in that place the next time if they come in there. 

At last the clean up was over and group photos were taken. Durai took responsibility of informing Kovalam Municipality to clean the garbages which we collected yesterday. Myself and Rakesh was planning for a sea diving and enquired at Kovalam. Unfortunately the sea was really rough and couldn’t arrange that opportunity to enjoy sea diving for volunteers but we will make sure we arrange one other day. Thanks and best wishes to all who participated in the event 

Everyone left for the day me and Rakesh joined Peter for lunch in Mahabs. It was real good restaurant (apart from slow service) which was not a problem as we were enjoying cool breeze from sea. Had a nice lunch and some discussions. Then took long ride back my home dropping my partner Rakesh. Reached home and felt relaxed and happy that today was really a SATISFIED SUNDAY 🙂

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