Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Padur Walk, a poor show ?

It was a poor show, if you went by the turnout. But then OMR Greens is no mass movement. And  numbers don't change people's mindset, about how they view their environment. In OMR , emerging urban communities co-exist with panchayat townships. Both need a mindset change to be able to cope with growing problems relating to  waste management,  sewage disposal, conservation of drinking water sources, compensating for the loss of green cover,  and for the carbon emission generated by cars, AC units, and freezers used by people living in high-rises.
OMR Greens   reach out to  all sections - high-rise communities, old-time residents, panchayat bodies, neighbourhood  institutions (Hindustan University)  and neighbourhood corporates - to explore possibilities, experiment a cluster approach to waste-to-energy conversion, sewage disposal, tapping solar and wind energy, increasing the green cover.
Padur Walk was meant to create awareness,  which,  we found,  isn't a one-way street. A 'walk' with placards was to spread the word about the green agenda.  For OMR green members the walk provided an opportunity to get a sense of their neighbourhood ground realities.  Rajaram who moved to Mantri's many months back said he didn't know there was so much more to Padur than a stretch of shops on OMR.

 A handful of us hanging out on a street corner with placards,  as Viswanath suggested,  drew much attention of  passers-by;  and many of them stopped by to interact with us. The presence of a young couple with a child in arms, and bearing placards, evoked public interest.

 How many three-year olds,  or  even young couple,  for that matter,  would want to spend their Sunday morning in community work ? I thought God stopped making  such people in Kaliyug . I was wrong.
At OMR Greens we had this  young couple with their 3-year old Sumshita  taking part on the Padur Walk. Rajesh Kanna  and wife Mohana Priya, with baby daughter in arms,  had biked their way from Perumbakkam to join us at Padur.

When our new-found friend Suresh Kumar from Kelambakkam had mentioned that some of his friends wanted to bring their wife and children along for the Walk, I thought he was putting me on. The appearance of the Kannas  for our Walk, all the way from their place beyond Sholinganallur,  wasn't the only surprise Suresh Kumar  had for us.
Producing placards for our events has been an issue for OMR Greens. An Awarness walk without placards is like soda without scotch. and Suresh Kumar came to our rescue. He showed up with a shopping bag full of cardboard placards.
As it turned out,  we had more placards than walkers. The first-time participants at an OMR Greens event outnumbered  the regulars this time.  We made up a double-digit number -  four car loads, to be precise - for our field trip to the waste-to-energy conversion plant at Mamallapuram,
Notable among the Kelambakkam participants, for our Padur Walk were Stalin, and Sudhanshu Shekar who turned up for the walk with his father and elder brother, who is on the staff of Hindustan University. The Shekars,  native of Patna,  have made  Kelambakkam.their home. The family runs a paper products unit that makes paper bags, plates and cups.
A highlight of the walk came at the end when we had a brief, but meaningful, interaction on OMR Greens agenda with Padur panchayat president, Mr M Chinnakutty, at his residence.

OMR Greens on YouTube

1 comment:

  1. Dear sir,

    Thanks for all, surely I should mention about you and your group from Mantri Syenrgy.

    OMR green are really very young eventhough few of them might crossed around 60-75yrs. All are very active in walk and the field trip too. Really good to see that High rise community people thinking about the environment and eager to bring a change.

    I could say PADUR WALK is a great success, surely we will bring a notable change in nearby future..

    Sureshkumar M.
    “Individually we may be a drop, believe together we are an Ocean”.