Chennaiite collects waste from households in Kundrathur for free

“I do not care what others think or say. For me, cleanliness of our surrounding is the only thing that matters,” Kamala Kannan says in a firm tone. The 42-year-old man goes to every houses in the locality and collects garbage in a vehicle that he has bought specially for this purpose.

Kamala Kannan, a former politician, says, “Right from my childhood, I have been very concerned about our environment. I used to clean my school’s play ground, and this nature of mine stayed with me.”

This graduate collects waste from all the 10 streets and disposes them properly. Apart from this, he is also involved in clearing the waste dumped on empty lands in the locality.

“Though many people encourage me for my concern towards civic well-being, some make fun and demotivate me. But I strongly believe that until one gets into the ground for work, nothing will change. I am not saying that corporation workers do not come here to clean, but they do it once in a week or ten days. The remaining days, people empty their dustbins into the nearby lands and that becomes the source of all diseases and pollution here in this area,” says Kamala Kannan.

So, how does he go about it? “Earlier I used to clear trash with a long iron rod, but now I have bought a vehicle worth Rs 26,000 specially for this. I make sure that I do not miss out on my routine even a single day. Everyday, by 10 am I start collecting the garbage. Day by day I am seeing a difference here. I also have a whistle to indicate that I am coming to collect waste.”

Kamala Kannan also plans to door-deliver ration products to those who are unable to do it themselves, especially senior citizens. He is also planning to arrange free vehicle services for the elderly to commute to nearby areas. “People in this locality want me to stand in the local body elections once again. So that is my next big step,” he reveals.

P T Usha