November 28, 2019
M. Su. Mani, a retired executive of the United Bleachers Limited (UBL) Company in Mettupalayam has been involved in multi-pronged social activities since college.
He tells The Covai Post, “It is 50 years since I began donating blood in college. I am 72 now and have stopped. However, I always help in emergencies. So after retirement I got into social activities. I founded the Save Bhavani Trust in 2015 to remove the unwanted barrages that are clogging the river water. Besides this, we are active in dredging and de-silting of lakes and waterfalls throughout Mettupalayam in tie-ups with Manikandan, the founder of Kovai Kuzhangal Padukappu Ammaippu, in Coimbatore. I have also initiated a project to develop a lake at Perumal temple in Karamadai.”
Mani is a member of Save Western Ghats movement and a coordinator of Coimbatore’s OSAI foundation. “Together we conducted a national convention on climate change this February at Krishna College in Coimbatore and awareness camps in Ooty’s tribal villages. We surveyed and helped in their development. We are also working to ban low grade plastic. In January, I organised a conference in Tiruchi, where Krishna Sweets donated nearly 30,000 cotton bags to be distributed in Mettupalayam and Coimbatore.”
He also moved the state education ministry to ban thermocol usage in school art projects or burning in dump yards, as its dust and chemical- infused gases caused digestive and respiratory disorders besides cancer.
“I also do lots of tree planting and re-planting of old trees that are being uprooted for construction or road expansion projects. Syed a member of OSAI organisation works with me. We uprooted an Aya tree from Mettupalayam road and planted it in the forest department yard. Four years ago, we took a 40-year-old Arasam tree from a temple here and transplanted it. That too has survived well.”
He adds, “I am also active in Coimbatore for Tamil Nadu (C4TN) organisation, doing rehabilitation work with its founder Dr. Vidhya Rajan. During the recent heavy rains, I travelled with their team to Pushpavanam, Vedaranyam and Kodiakarai in Thanjavur to help remove fallen trees and debris and make lands re-habitable.”
The redoubtable Mani also works with Helping Hearts organisation of Coimbatore to collect and distribute used clothes to slum dwellers. “We distributed to nearly 2,000 families in Mettupalayam and nearby tribal villages this Diwali and are now working similarly for Pongal. We also contribute children’s books to the Tamil Nadu Science Forum every year,” he said.
Mani has also sorted out the Mettupalayam Tamil Sangam’s administrative problems and activated it. The Save Bhavani Trust is now forming eco-clubs in schools and colleges to create environmental awareness.
He is also a member of the Mettupalayam Consumer Protection Organisation and in 2018 initiated a mass public protest with letters from all service and consumer unions to get bus fares revised by the Coimbatore District Collector’s office. “Of course private bus rates remain the same.
His number is 9442735083.