Punyam Poonkaavanam for a Clean Sabarimala
The 'Punyam Poonkavanam' project is aimed at keeping the Sabarimala and surrounding areas clean. Punyam Poonkaavanam cleaning programme is conducted with the joint co-operation of pilgrims of Sabarimala and officers on duty like Devaswom, Police and other officials. For more than eight years, the Sannidhaan and premises are being cleaned daily from 9 am to 10 am.
The motto of 'Punyam Poonkavanam' is to participate Ayyappa devotees in the cleanliness programme of Sabarimala. Eminent personalities visiting Sabarimala for Darsan or Services also participate for the daily cleaning routine. Cleaning is done with sanitation equipments including gloves and socks. The main aim is to eliminate all kinds of waste from Sabarimala. I.G P. Vijayan has implemented this one-hour sanitation programme in 2011 with the aim of ensuring complete hygiene in Sannidhaan and its premises.
900 cleaning servicemen army for sanitation
Pathanamthitta District Administration has deployed over 900 cleaning service personnel at Pampa, Nilakkal and Sannidhanam in collaboration with Ayyappa Seva Sangh. All of them are from Tamil Nadu with a service attitude. 300 were deployed in sanitation activity at Sannidhaan, 205 at Pampa, 360 at Nilaikkal, 25 at Panthalam and 10 at Kulanada. A Mission under the name Mission Green Sabarimala is carrying out an awareness campaign for the purpose of preventing the use of plastic under the Sanitation Army and purification of the Pampa River. The service of the sanitation army members is available 24 hours a day.
Mission Green Sabarimala for a Plastic Waste Free Sabarimala
Mission Green Sabarimala, a Project in association with Sabarimala Pilgrimage has an objective of keeping Sabarimala and surrounding areas free of plastic. Suchitwa Mission is implementing various campaigns for the Mission Green Sabarimala, which is headed by the Pathanamthitta District Administration. In order to eradicate plastic from Sabarimala and to clean the Pampa river, various activities are being carried out under the Mission. The Mission Green Sabarimala project is being implemented in collaboration with the Devaswom Board, Forest Department, Kudumbasree Mission, Police and Information Public Relations Departments.
As part of the campaign to eradicate plastic from Sabarimala and surrounding areas, there is a distribution of more than half a lakh cloth bags containing awareness messages to the pilgrims instead of plastic carry bags. Distribution of cloth bags to pilgrims are being carried out through stalls at Nilakkal Base Camp and Chengannur Railway Station.
Green Guard activists have been deployed 24 hours a day on shift basis to prevent pilgrims from depositing their clothes into the Pampa River. The members under the Sabarimala Sanitation Society are functioning as Green Guards. NSS Volunteers of various colleges in the district are participating in the Mission Green Project.
Plastic wastes along the road from Laha to Pampa and Kanamala to Laha are being collected with the help of eco-guards and non-organic wastes from Nilakkal and Pampa is being collected under the leadership of the Suchitwa Mission. The wastes collected is decomposed by a private company in Thiruvalla. Six large plastic waste collection boxes have been installed in Nilakkal and Pampa. These boxes are placed to deposit plastic bottles and covers.
More than 100 steam bins have been set up at Pampa, Nilakkal and Pandalam for inorganic waste management. Messages in different languages informing not to throw clothes in the Pampa river as it is against the temple rituals and to protect Sabarimala and forest areas from plastic waste, and pocket cards marking special days of sabarimala are being supplied to pilgrims from different centres across the district.
For the pilgrims arriving at Chengannur via railway for the Sabarimala Pilgrimage, awareness information is being provided in three Languages-Kannada, Telugu and Tamil before any railway announcement.