Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala government is getting ready to utilise social media platforms to propagate messages of its ambitious anti-plastic drive in the abodes of famed hillock Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala. A recent meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson decided to intensify the ‘Plastic-Free Sabarimala campaign’, launched by the government last year with the support of the district administration, Sabarimala Sanitation Society and several other departments.
Millions of Ayyappa devotees from across the country visit the shrine, located atop holy hill Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district during the annual pilgrim season in mid November to January. Thomson asked District Collectors to use social media platforms extensively to take the messages to maximum number of people, an official release said here today.
An awareness campaign, launched last year under the aegis of the Forest Department and women Self Help Group Kudumbashree, would continue this year also. The service of Eco Guards, deployed in around 40 points at the pilgrim town, would also be continued with the support of the Dewaswom Board.
The forest department is mulling increasing the number of Eco Guards this year, it said. The meeting also decided to install more video screens displaying anti-plastic drive messages and open five plastic exchange counters in the temple town. Pamphlet campaign through state-run KSRTC buses would be enhanced and extended to more number of buses this year, it said.
The government also decided to convene meetings of Ayyappa devotees in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad and take steps to stop them from carrying plastic articles during the pilgrimage.
Officials and representatives of various departments, including Devaswom Board, district administration, forest, health, KSRTC and kudumbashree participated in the meeting convened by the Chief Secretary.
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