Chennai: Hundred women have become Tamil Nadu's green ambassadors. Garbage on the outskirts of Chennai is now being recycled to produce bio gas and electricity.
M Thilagavathy along with 100 other women is championing the green cause 'Pammal', which is a remote area on the outskirts of Chennai. Every day at 6 am, they collect garbage from the several thousand households and segregate the waste. They have been doing this for over 15 years now.
"I love keeping my neighbourhood clean. It's our combined duty and this effort should continue," Thilagavathy said.
When Mangalam Balasubramanian came to Chennai in 1994, a dirty dumpyard neighbourhood was an eyesore. She decided to get her hands dirty and a green initiative called 'Exnora Green Pammal' was born. With others chipping in, the network has now spread from 200 houses in Pammal to across four states.
Exnora Green Pammal Founder Mangalam Balasubramanian said, "My mission is to make garbage everybody's business. Because you and I throw garbage, but once it goes from your usage point it becomes a toxic element. So to handle that itself is a big challenge and then to see it handled and converted to a useful material - the whole process is a big challenge."
But EGP has overcome the challenge. Apart from vermicomposting, they produce 5KW of energy daily and illuminate 50 streetlamps in Pammal. They provide biogas for homes and community kitchens. They also make charcoal briquettes and have Self Help Groups to recycle the plastic to make stationery items..
"Having that scientific knowledge, I want to focus on recycling and reusing and generate employment opportunities for oppressed women," Balasubramanian said.
With its unique pioneering methods and assistance from corporations like Pepsico, Exnora Green Pammal has over the years grown to lead the way for a much greener, cleaner Chennai.
Balasubramanian says, "What is it that we can save for our children? Clean air, clean water and clean earth. These were not brought by us. Our ancestors left it behind for us. So now it's our sincere duty to leave it behind for our children.