Agasthya 6.2 Event Report
Any and all opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of ATREE. 

Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
Royal Enclave,Srirampura,Jakkur Post
Telephone: 080-23635555 (EPABX)
Fax : 080- 23530070

Regular readers of Agasthya may know that since the last two years, ATREE has been training local stakeholders to take over the campaign for a cleaner Adi Amavasai festival. As part of the exit plan we provided hands-on experience to local college students in carrying out impact assessments by taking them in the team lead by ATREE researchers. Swasam', a local NGO concerned about education for poor and other social issues has taken primary responsibility of mobilizing volunteers from local schools and colleges to assist in frisking the baggage of visitors for plastics, liquor and other banned materials. 'Viveka Sakthi', an NGO from Alankulam specializing in folk arts, spread the message and awareness about responsible tourism among villagers through performing arts.

It was heartening to observe that the effort that we spent to build capacity among the local stakeholders over the years has started to yield results. The campaign, led by Swasam and KMTR Tiger Foundation this year, ran smooth. It was heartening to see that polythene usage, the main concern that made us to initiate the campaign in the past, had reduced in comparison to the previous years. Owing to our incessant advocacy with the District Administration over the issue of open defecation and its associated health hazards, a large number of toilets were set up last year which seemed to be working this year too. However, we cannot claim that it might have addressed the main issue i.e. health and sanitation hazards since the visitors and the pilgrims didn't seem to be using them as we had expected. However there has been some observed reduction in the scale of open air defecation. With the local stakeholders assuming control and leadership of campaign, a future challenge which awaits us is the one where we set our goal to create a paradigm shift in the overall individual attitudes of the visitors towards environmental issues and cleanliness, which once achieved, would then not require constant unpleasant tasks of policing, preaching and frisking.



Editorial Team
Editor: Allwin Jesudasan
Associate editor: Rajkamal Goswami
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, M. Soubadra Devy, T. Ganesh
Design and presentation: Kiran Salagame

Volume 6,  Issue 2
      April 2012

A S H O K A   T R U S T   F O R   R E S E A R C H   I N   E C O L O G Y   A N D   T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T

Event Report
Handing over Sorimuthian Temple clean festival campaign to denizens
- R Ganesan and M Soubadra Devy
If you have any suggestions or comments please let us know through the boxes below