Rameswaram Island is a sacred pilgrimage center and a charming tourist place. It is averagely about 1.2 crore visitors visits The Rameswaram island every year. Due to its huge number of visitors, the garbage deposition along the sea shores and inside the city is unavoidable. Rameswaram municipality pays more attention in the cleanliness of the Rameswaram city and the sea regions. But it is also the responsibility of every visitor (Pilgrims and tourists) that, not to litter the Rameswaram environment.
Plastic Bags gone famous and they are literally used by everyone, because they are cheap, strong, lightweight, and is easily available more than that they are convenient. Many of the environment conservationists, researchers, social welfare organizations said that plastics adversely affect our environment and we have to avoid those as much as possible. Rameswaram island is a plastic free Zone, and here you are advised not to use plastic bags ,polythene bags and not to litter them to the Rameswaram environs.
What these plastics do !! why we have to avoid !!
Well, plastics and polythene covers are non degradable materials, they can even last up to millions of years . They may have some usefulness but, they harm the Eco-system and the environment in many ways.
what can we do then?
The better and safer way to minimize the harms of plastics is to recycle them; the even better way is not to litter them into the environs. The Guidelines for the tourists and the pilgrims are listed below.
The pilgrims are advised to throw their clothes into the basket kept near the Agnitheertham shore, and don’t throw your clothes into the sea! (It is an unholy act, it does’nt vanishes our sins, and it is not mentioned in the scriptures to throw the clothes into a theertham)
Worship with wet clothes inside the Ramanathaswamy Temple premises is prohibited. Pilgrims are advised to change their clothes after performing the theertha snanam (Sacred Bath), then only they are allowed into the temple premises.
This project was inaugurated by Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on January 28, “Green pilgrimage to Rameswarm”, a comprehensive project aimed at providing a green and hygienic pilgrimage proposed by Vivekananda Kendra Rameswaram.
This project declares a ten dimensional model for the green Rameswaram. The following chart gives the details about their model. On their inauguration day , there were 500 saplings planted all around the Rameswaram island as the initialization of the project. (Reference from Vivekananda Kendiram Website)
The renovation and maintenance of Theerthas around the Rameswaram is one of the major contribution of this project.
The Kendra had also identified other areas such as optimised water harvesting and management through rainwater harvesting, good sanitation, installation of renewable energy systems and preserving the flora and fauna of Rameswaram with relation to Gulf of Mannar biodiversity.
The BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia of Russia, has sanctioned Rs. 80 lakh for the renovation and cleaning of ‘Ramar Theertham’ of Rameswaram. (Brahmos Aerosapce also involved with Kendra’s Green Rameswaram project in the implement of solar Lights).
Anti plastic Rallies from schools and institutions , cleaning camps provided by schools and Coast Guard are being performed frequently over the years, imposing the importance of “Clean Rameswaram” into the minds of public and the visitors of Rameswaram Island.
The government should have to conduct awareness programs about “Clean Rameswaram”, and should have educate the public with proper knowledge on conserving the eco-system, environment and the Cultural Heritages.