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Kerala: Sabarimala set to go plastic-free thanks to social media campaigns

Last year there was an awareness campaign launched on the same subject by the Forest Department and Kudumbashree.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Oct 19, 2015, 01:28 PM IST

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Efforts to make the pilgrimage centre of Sabarimala in Kerala plastic-free are intensifying. Kerala Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson stated that there will be more efforts in this direction in the coming days.

According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, the Kerala government will conduct meetings in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai for Ayyappa devotees and urge them not to carry plastic bags to Sabarimala. Thomson has asked district collectors to use social media extensively to spread the anti-plastic bag message, adds the report.

Last year there was an awareness campaign launched on the same subject by the Forest Department and Kudumbashree. This campaign is still ongoing. There are 40 points in Sabarimala where Eco-Guards will be stationed.

During the Sabarimala pilgrimage season, which is from November to January, lakhs of Ayyappa devotees flock to Sabarimala. Many carry plastic bags with them and the resulting garbage is tough to clean up. 

Facts about Sabarimala:
  • More than 50 million devotees visit the pilgrimage centre each year.
  • The Ayyappa temple here is set amidst 18 hills.
  • Men of all ages can go to Sabarimala. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to (those in the menstrual age group).
  • All those on the pilgrimage wear black
  • The temple is open only on specific days - Mandalapooja (usually 15 November to 26 December); Makaravilakku (14 January); Maha Vishuva Sankranti (14 April); first five days of each Malayalam month.
  • Devotees usually need to do a 41-day vratham (fasting and sacrifice period).

 

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