Tamil devotees visited Sabarimala with an environmental message
Every year the Sabarimala Temple to Lord Ayappa in Kerala receives some 10 crore pilgrims from different parts of India and the world. this puts an enormous pressure on the fragile Periyar Tiger Reserve. Following concerns from environmentalists, the Kerala Pollution Control Board originally banned the use of plastics in Bamba and Sabarimala and surroundings in 2011. But this was not implemented till February 2016, so the Kerala High Court stepped in to do so. It is Margazhi, a Tamil winter month, which is the season for Sabarimala pilgrimage for Tamil devotees. One can see a large number of people in black dhoti and barefoot as they are keeping strict abstinence.
Recently, 20 pilgrims from Madurai, Tamilnadu, started for Sabarimala with a strong environmental message. Their campaign was ‘Say no to plastic’. Wearing t-shirts with the message, ‘Save the Green; Save Sabarimala’, and taking offerings to Lord Ayappa in non-plastic bags, this team of pilgrims reached Sabarimala. They also took tree saplings to be planted there. The saplings included teak wood, sandalwood and mahogony. In Pathanamthitta, they gave the saplings to a representative of the District Collector and completed their pilgrimage by trekking from Bamba to Sabarilama.
Before the start of the pilgrimage, team leader R Gandhi said: “It is necessary to protect the fragile environment in Sabarimala. It is good that plastic has been banned there. We are making our pilgrimage to bring awareness to fellow pilgrims from our state of Tamilnadu.”
Yes, Ayyappa. the Lord worshipped at Sabarimala must be happy with this team of pilgrims.
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