Use of plastics has emerged as a bane for the modern life, with most of our water bodies being used as a dumping ground for discarding wastes.
Amid the perpetual problem of pollution due to plastic and the harm it causes to the aqua lives, the untiring efforts of a 72-year-old who is paralysed from knee down, has garnered praises from the netizens for his contribution towards cleanliness.
Hailing from Kottayam, NS Rajappan has been on mission to get rid of single-use plastic bottles for six long years now.
As he could not stand the sight of the lake near his house turn into a filthy water body, he voluntarily took up the job of collecting these bottles and started selling them to a local agency that collects plastic.
For over the years, Rajappan has been collecting plastic waste from the Vembanad lake and other streams of Kumarakom in Kottayam district.
Rajappan was stricken with polio at the age of five and has been paralyzed since. However, this has not prevented him from accomplishing his mission. He would hire a small country boat and manoeuvre using a stick or his oar as he ventures out to collect the wastes.
For him, rowing a boat is easier than moving through the roads, one reason why he chose this job.
When the lockdown was announced, forcing many to stay within the four walls, it also helped reduce plastic wastes being dumped in water bodies. Rajappan was happy though this meant a cut in his income.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also applauded the old man’s efforts on his ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’ programme.
Hailing the efforts of Rajappan, Modi said, “There is a differently abled person, N S Rajappan ji, in Kottayam. Though he is unable to walk as he has been paralysed, his commitment towards cleanliness has not been diluted.”
“…Taking a cue from Rajappan ji’s deeds, we must also do whatever is possible to maintain cleanliness,” he added.