KOCHI: A clutch of individuals purely driven by selfish interests were the nation’s biggest curse, Irom Sharmila, the ‘Iron Lady of Manipur’, said here on Sunday.
Inaugurating the Periyar Protection Rally and meeting here, Sharmila, while asserting the need for joint efforts to uphold the principles of justice, said an elite class was busy constructing the resorts and swimming pools when the entire country faced acute scarcity of potable water.
The rally was held as part of the valedictory meeting of the agitation organised against the pollution of the water bodies. She inaugurated the meeting by handing over a pot of potable water to a child.
“It was after reaching here I came to know the Periyar was heavily polluted. Nearly 40 lakh people are suffering because of the pollution of the river. The major reason for the pollution is the dumping of the chemicals by the industrial units. These industrial units are a big threat to the people, who are dependent on the river for quenching their thirst,” alleged Sharmila.
Further, the former marathon hunger striker exhorted each and every individual to realise their social responsibilities. “We should realise the majority of our deeds aimed at achieving selfish interests would have an adverse fallout on society. If justice ought to come our way, we should stand united. I always believe in carrying out a struggle based on the principles of Ahmisa. Through the protests based on tolerance, we can achieve our goal,” she said.
Arch Bishop of Verappoly Joseph Kalathipparambil presided.