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Once there was a river. Rather, there were many rivers. And then there were none.
In the run up to Arappor Iyakkam’s Sakkadai Thiruvizha, a citizen awareness program to highlight the problem of sewage being let into Chennai’s water bodies, two young photographers — Raghavan Lokesh and Mohan Kumar Karunakaran — volunteered to travel along Chennai’s rivers, and capture images for our readers.
The pictures are heart breaking. Let us take a minute to view, and mull over, what we have done to the lifelines of this city.
[Raghavan Lokesh is an entrepreneur and has been volunteering with Arappor Iyakkam since 2017. Mohan Kumar Karunakaran works with Royal Bank of Scotland. Moved by the state of a water body in his neighbourhood, he has been volunteering with Arappor Iyakkam over the last few months, seeking to impact the city in a positive way.]
Given the length and nature of the coastline, Marina Beach should have a number of watchtowers, rescue boats and other precautionary measures in place. What it currently has is just an ill-equipped police patrol and occasionally, fishermen volunteering as lifeguards.
Serious flaws in garbage collection and disposal, impractical solutions, and corruption to top it all — a public meeting discussed the chaotic waste management ecosystem in the city and how deeply it affects residents living near garbage dumps. However, citizens themselves hold the key to a better system.