“Be a good ancestor”

Every year during Aadi-amavasai which falls in July or August, a crowd of five lakh people visit KMTR for the Sorimuthayan festival. This impacts the forest severely by way of road kills, polluting the river Thamiraparani and looping of endemic. ATREE's Agasthyamalai Community-based Conservation Center (ACCC) has been scientifically monitoring these impacts since 2006, simultaneously carrying out a survey among the pilgirims to evaluate outreach programme as well as understand the socio-cultural aspects of this festival.

In addition, ATREE’s CCC conducts awareness campaigns through street plays, T.V. programmes, FM radio programmes and cycle rallys, in partnership with educational institutions, local NGOs and the Forest Department.

Previous campaigns to reduce plastics have paid dividends with the forest department and district administration implementing a ban on plastics usage.

ATREE’s research results that have been shared with the Forest Department and the Press highlight high levels of colliform bacteria which persist in water for three months after the festival, in places as far as Tirunelveli which is 60 km away. This year's campaign focused on reduction of the camping duration and was titled, "be a good ancestor".

Press links: