The Haritha Keralam Mission in the district recently honoured the authorities of St. Mary’s Jnanodayam School at Maikkavu for maintaining a green grove on the campus.

Even with COVID-19 restrictions in force, the students have shown the way by setting up vegetable gardens and groves in their homes, besides maintaining the green grove set up at the school much before the lockdown. “Several schools in the district have taken an extra effort to maintain their groves even in these difficult times. Students and teachers share the responsibilities,” said P. Prakashan, district coordinator of the Mission.

The poor availability of manpower due to the increased spread of COVID-19 has affected the activities of the Mission to some extent. However, most activities are still taking place in a low-key manner. “We do not carry out massive cleaning drives and awareness programmes that we did earlier. But we manage to carry out most activities that do not involve a lot of manpower with the help of local bodies,” said Mr. Prakashan. It includes pre-monsoon cleaning of drains, rivulets and other water bodies, which have been carried out during February-March under the banner of ‘Ini Njan Ozhukatte’ (Now, let me flow).

Inspired by the schools’ involvement in maintaining green groves, the Mission is now planning some large-scale programmes in connection with World Environment Day on June 5. “We have made plans to source some saplings from home nurseries and also from the Social Forestry Department to distribute across the district,” said Mr. Prakashan.

The Mission is currently busy preparing reports on waste management systems in local bodies in the district, based on a reality audit held recently. It has also been giving directions to local bodies that faltered in maintaining their hygiene status. “When the new government comes to power, we may get new projects. The data collected through the reality audit will come in handy then,” he added.

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