Bharathapuzha, the second longest river in Kerala, is an important source for irrigation, drinking and other uses in the state. It is also home to a diverse array of plants and aquatic life. The river spreads across Palakkad and Malapuram districts and enjoys cultural heritage too. The famous Kerala Kalamandalam is located on the banks of this river in Shoranur. Considered the ‘Nile of Kerala,’ the river is hence also called ‘Nila’.
However, in recent years, the river has become polluted due to the dumping of industrial and household waste, sewage and other pollutants. This pollution can harm or kill marine life and can be harmful to humans if the water is used for drinking or irrigation.
Twenty members of Rotaract Club of Rising Stars, RID 3201, recently participated in cleaning the river as part of a programme called ‘Swachh Nila’. “Our activities attracted public interest and we were able to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural resources,” says club president K Ajith.
Cleaning a river is a complex and an ongoing task that requires cooperation of multiple stakeholders, and implementation of a variety of strategies. “By taking action to protect and preserve the Bharathapuzha river, we want to set an example for others to follow and make a positive impact on the environment,” he adds.
The Rotaractors began the new year 2023 with a fun-filled movie session with the differently-abled inmates of the Polygarden Rehab Centre which is rehabilitating, treating and educating mentally-challenged, epileptic and psychiatric patients from across Kerala.
“For some of them it was a maiden experience, while 60 of the inmates enjoyed the theatre experience after 18 years,” says M Suparna, past president of the club. Tickets were booked for a Malayalam movie, Malikapuram, at the Laddor Cinemas, Ottapaalam. The Rotaractors too joined the Polygarden family for the movie. The theatre management made special arrangements to make the movie-watching experience comfortable for the visitors.
Earlier, on Sept 10, the club celebrated Onam festival with the elderly people of the Abhayam Old Age Home. Ela ada, a traditional delicacy especially prepared for the festival, was cooked in a Rotaractor’s home and distributed among the inmates of the home. “It was a team effort with all our members pitching in to prepare the dish. It is made by steaming rice flour pancakes with coconut-and-jaggery filling wrapped in a banana leaf. It certainly was a special Onam for all of us,” says Suparna.
The two-year-old club was sponsored in 2020 by RC Palghat.