Students Rally Towards a ‘Waste-less Society’

Published: 13th October 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: Students of Rajalakshmi Institutions, clad in white, faced unusually heavy traffic on a Sunday morning on New Avadi Road, as they marched with banners to promote a cleaner environment and a healthier India.

Issues regarding environment have increasingly come to the fore after the introduction of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and to encourage the students, M B Nirmal, president of ExNoRa, opened the rally and shared his experiences.

Calling himself a ‘chronic optimist’, Nirmal spoke of the circumstances that made him take the step to change his surroundings.

From owning acres of land he was reduced to being able to afford only a plot in a slum area, and his family was surrounded by filth and open defecation. “That is when I decided to change the surroundings, not by banishing the slums but by making them a part of the movement,” he said.

A change in mindset can be made in small ways without too much expenditure. When he built toilets, people wanted more of them, which he could not build. “Instead, I provided them with seats, newspapers and a radio outside the toilet to help ease their waiting time. Children were scared of the toilets, so I built a separate semi-open ‘toylet’ for them with rocking horses,” he said.

Gradually the movement picked up and Nirmal won awards, even from the United Nations. His house is a mini tourist spot with ecological examples.

Calling the India of the past a waste-less society, he encouraged students to learn from the older generation. “Your grandmothers cleaned the outside of their homes and made kolams with rice flour that would keep the ants out, gave leftover vegetables to the cows, and used the manure from the same cows for cleaning and as fuel. They were more organic than us,” he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp