For the longest time, we’ve polluted our water bodies with plastic waste that disrupts the marine ecosystem. Many environmentalists are speaking out, and working towards creating awareness about its consequences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised one such person for keeping a lake clean – Our very own eco-warrior, Rajappan.
Also Read: What Makes Kerala an Eco-friendly State?
Kerala: PM Modi acknowledges NS Rajappan, a differently-abled man based in Kochi, for his effort to fish out plastic bottles from Lake Vembanad, in 'Mann ki Baat' address— ANI (@ANI) January 31, 2021
"I feel honoured to have been mentioned by the Prime Minister in his Mann ki Baat address," says Rajappan pic.twitter.com/gO7FPvmW6N
NS Rajappan, a 72-year-old Kottayam native, has been rowing his boat in the Vembanad lake and collecting plastic waste for years. He continues to perform his duty without fail despite being unable to walk. Rajappan earns a living by selling the collected plastic waste to scrap dealers.
A few months back, a photographer named Nandu Ks, had come across eco-warrior Rajappan. Curious to know his story, Nandu decided to strike a conversation with him. He clicked a bunch of photographs and conducted a small interview, which went viral on social media.
People were in awe of Rajappan’s commitment towards the environment. So much that, an NRI businessman, Sreekumar had gifted him a motorboat so that he could continue his work hassle-free.
Owing to World Environment Day, NS Rajappan was awarded The Supreme Master Ching Hai International’s World Protection Award. He also won a $10,000 cash award and a citation. Here’s a video of how Nandu was able to bring the award to Rajappan. Rajappan’s happiness is bound to bring a smile to your face.
Eco-warrior Rajappan is the perfect example of where there’s a will, there is a way. If a person like Rajappan can protect the environment in a small way, we too can.