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A Website Dedicated to Clean and Pollution Free Sabarimala

To reduce the use of plastic and encourage eco-friendly bags at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, a website was launched to create awareness. The website was inaugurated by Kandararu Rajeevaru, who recently took over as the high priest of the Sabarimala Temple. He appealed to all the pilgrims to avoid use of plastics to minimize environmental damage to the surrounding hills in Sabarimala and the holy River Pampa.
Inaugurating the website, the head priest told Express that puja items like honey and sandalwood that form part of Irumudi have been packed in plastic covers.
“Pilgrims tend to throw the plastic covers aro und the hills resulting in large-scale damage to the hills. Animals grazing around the area end up consuming the toxic waste,” he noted.
He suggested that pilgrims carry irumudi items in biodegradable packs. Pamphlets are also being distributed informing pilgrims not to throw water/honey bottles and any nonbiodegradable items on the hills or in the Pampa River. As per official statistics, about 40 million pilgrims visit Sabarimala each year. Most of them discard the empty plastic covers and bottles on the hills.
Carcass of cow with 17 kgs of plastic prompted green drive
Three incidents in the last couple of years made Sreejith E. Namboodiri, a priest in an Ayyappan temple in Chennai, take a vow that he would do something actively to free the forest in Sabarimala from plastic. In one such case at Ettumanoor, near Kottayam, when a cow died all of a sudden, a post-mortem was done on it, and the result was shocking to all animal lovers. There was 17 kgs of plastic in its stomach. "Because it happened near Kottayam, a post-mortem was conducted. I don't know how many animals in the Sabarimala forest die of consuming plastic thrown away irresponsibly by the devotees. The thought was painful."
Sreejit Namboodiri, priest at Ayyappan Temple, Sastri Nagar, Adyar, said: “Don’t we fume if someone litters our house or throws garbage in the surroundings? Why then spoil Sabarimala, Lord Ayyappan’s abode? Doing so is an insult to Him and defeats the very purpose of pilgrimage.
You can visit the website here – cleansabarimala (the website is no longer available)