CHENNAI: The Chennai Runners will lace up their shoes for a four-hour marathon of garbage collection on Sunday. In the aftermath of the floods that hit the city, the next step after providing relief supplies is to clear the massive numbers of packets, boxes and bottles they arrived in, say volunteers. And this is not counting the destroyed household items that many have discarded.
Preeti Aghalayam, president of the Chennai Runners, says, “The initiative will be conducted in eight areas of the city, including Mogappair, Velachery, Kotturpuram and Ashok Nagar.” It will be done in collaboration with the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) and members of cycling groups in the city. This was announced on social media on Thursday.
“One hundred volunteers signed up within 30 minutes,” says Peter van Geit, founder of CTC. “So by the weekend, we hope to have 1,000 volunteers, or more, cleaning our streets,” he adds. Aiming to focus on the areas that need more attention, several volunteers attended a meeting with the Chennai Corporation Commissioner, Vikram Kapur, on Thursday. Meenakshi Ramesh, a volunteer who attended the meeting that saw the participation of several zonal officers as well, says, “We will work alongside the corporation workers on Sunday to get the job done faster. We’ve requested additional bins for the clean up, and the idea is to get it all cleared on the same morning.” With a generous stock of brooms ready, organisers of the clean-up ask that volunteers come with only two things — closed shoes, and a pair of thick kitchen gloves. “The latter will come in handy for the segregation of recyclable material like plastic, glass and electronic waste that can be sold,” explains Preethi.
Assembly Points for the Clean-up
- Alwarpet: Corporation Ground, St Marys Road
- MRC Nagar: Lords Building
- Gandhinagar: Crimson Chakra
- Kotturpuram: Pillayar Kovil
- Mogappair: Buhari Hotel
- Kilpauk: Ewarts School
- Velachery: MRTS Station
- Ashok Nagar: Sivan Park