October 23, 2016
Thanjavur: Residents in Thanjavur were greeted with a curious sight today: Narmada Nandakumar, a Chennai-based environmental activist, single-handedly embarked on the mission of clearing the weeds spreading along the historic moat in Kodimarathu Moolai (flagstaff corner) area.
“I know that I will not be able to do this by myself, but thought this would help create awareness among people and draw the attention of the authorities concerned,” says the 38-year-old teacher turned environmental activist.
Pointing out that much more needs to be done to preserve water bodies, she says that instead of demonstrations and hunger strikes, field work is more important to raise awareness among residents.
Armed with a sickle fitted in a long staff, Narmada stepped into the slush and cleaned the weeds all by herself till evening. She, however, left for Chennai in the evening as she could not get any support from the locals and she had no place to stay in Thanjavur. “People are noticing my work. But I am yet to get support for this laborious task,” she said.
This is not her first attempt to clear the weeds and protect the water-bodies. She drew the attention of all by clearing the thick weeds spread along the Ambattur Lake single-handed on October 16.
It all started when Narmada suffered a severe water crisis in her hometown of Rajapalayam a few years ago. “Then, I realised the need to conserve water and protect water-bodies. I submitted many petitions to the district administration but to no avail,” she recalls.