Senior citizens on cleaning mission in Villivakkam
Chennai: A group of senior citizens in Rajaji Nagar, Villivakkam, have come together for a cause. In fact, they are keen to be role models for youngsters in the area, by taking up the job of keeping the neighbourhood clean. Of course, their inspiration is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharath' mission.
All that they do is to gather once every month, usually on a Sunday, and clean streets/stretches. Their plan is to expand it to all localities in and around Villivakkam.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, said A V Surendiran, chairman, Welfare Association Rajaji Nagar Civic Exnora. "Only if we keep our streets clean will our lives be healthy: that is how this idea of forming the group and taking forward the 'Swachh Bharath' mission was mooted."
He said there were 42 streets in Rajaji Nagar, 15 of which have been covered as part of this initiative so far. It has been a sustained effort, except for a break during summer, explained M R Krishnan, president, Welfare Association Rajaji Nagar Civic Exnora. "We have always set benchmarks to improve the conditions of the locality," said 75-year-old R Rajagopal, one of the senior-most members of the group.
"Our work begins the day before we wish to take up the cleaning work. We print pamphlets about the street that we plan to clean and distribute it to residents in the locality."
Also, with a view to reaching out to the maximum number of people, the pamphlets are put up at the association notice boards. Around 30 to 40 residents take part in the exercise. Some streets have even thrown up surprises with the level of involvement from the residents, said Krishnan. For instance, when work was taken up at Gokul 1st Street, nearly 100 people, including children, involved themselves.
He said there were members like J Devarajulu, J Manoharan and K Sambasivam, who have not missed a single cleaning drive. They plan to take 'Singara Rajaji Nagar campaign' forward, the association is planning to grow flowering plants across the neighbourhood.