Pongal may be one of the most awaited festivals, however, many feel that Bhogi can be avoided. Bhogi is the first day of the four-day Pongal festival. It is day when people burn all old and unwanted stuffs and start everything new.
However, this festival has its own demerits. Residents burnt paper, dry garden waste, old mats and clothes which however contributed to smog cover and poor visibility in areas.
To combat this Exnora Greater Chennai has launched a week-long awareness campaign to promote smoke-free Bhogi by creating awareness among students at various schools and colleges in North, Central and South Chennai.
The programme was formally inaugurated at Sri RKM Sarada Vidyalaya Model Higher Secondary School, Burkit Road, T Nagar. Students formed a human chain in front of the school by carrying banners and placards with smoke-free Bhogi slogans. Free saplings were given to students on the occasion.
Exnora volunteers and students distributed pamphlets to the public, which explained the ill-effects of burning rubbish, tyres and plastic and how it pollutes the environment and contributes to global warming.
School headmistress Kannagi Prabhakaran explained the necessity to protect our environment. She also spoke on the need to observe a smokeless Bhogi to keep our atmosphere clean and pollution free. The guests were presented with saplings to promote the school’s motto – Go Green.
Exnora Greater Chennai president R Govindaraj said that the Civic Exnoras and Exnora Innovators Clubs in and around the city will conduct several awareness programmes through rallies, distribution of pamphlets, awareness through autos, street plays and various other modes.
Lions Club of Central Madras chairman (Projects) S N Hari Narayanan advised the students to explain to their friends, relatives and parents about the need for a clean environment for healthy living.
Exnora Greater Chennai general secretary Anand Laxman and North Chennai Exnora secretary J Fatheraj Jain were present.