Chennai Coastal Cleanup, June 16th - post-event summary

Friday, June 21, 2013
History of the Coastal Cleanup

4 years ago, in May 2010 we initiated the first Chennai Coastal Cleanup during which 880 volunteers collected 8.9 tons of garbage over a 15km coastal stretch from Marina till Injambakkam trying to send a strong message of environmental conservation within the society. A second edition followed in Jan 2011 with 1000 volunteers collecting 9+ tons of garbage over the same stretch. During the third year in Feb 2012 we got into the Limca book of records being the fastest cleanup by 2369 volunteers collecting 17.6 tons of garbage in just 2 hours. The awareness spread further with the participation of 45 groups including corporates, NGOs, schools.Last Sunday, June 16th 2013 all records were broken with a participation of 100+ groups totaling 5584 volunteers collecting 36.7 tons of garbage from Marina till Kovalam. This year was also the first time that we segregated all garbages to recycle maximum and minimize waste moved to the dump yard.


The chart below shows the zone-wise headcount and number of garbage bags collected across the 20km coastline. Out of 36.7 tons collected and segregated by the 5584 volunteers we retrieved 21% thin plastics, 7% glass, 4.4% thick plastics (all of which were recycled) and remaining 67% "others" which were moved to the garbage dump.

Infographics by TechDew

The men and women behind

A big thanks to approx. 150 volunteer organizers from the Chennai Trekking Club (partly shown below) who made this mega environmental awareness drive possible - our green team, zone leads, support team, photographers, design & media team. Many of them spend countless hours and sleepless nights in the past 2 months to make this large event a success.

CCC/4 would have not been the same without the creativity and untiring dedication of Rajiv Athreya - our one man design army - who created all art work, posters and banners for our event and online awareness campaign from the first day till the end. With his help we were able to reach out to tens of thousands online.

Key organizer behind this year as well as previous CCC drives is Thilak Raj - instrumental in dealing with the Chennai Corporation, obtaining permissions, interfacing with mayor's office, coordinating with The Hindu, negotiating with external bags/gloves vendors, dealing with media and the list the goes on.

Always working behind the scenes and in the shadows, a non-stop force of selfless support, Prabhakar whose presence was - just like during any other major CTC event - everywhere.

Sushmita - our new kid on the block during this years CCC - popped up out of nowhere and - self-driven - helped out with so many pre-event key aspect of our campaign

Prem and his amazing support team who provided the backbone for distribution and last-minute supply & support to the 16 target zones.

Our Green Warriors & Segregation

The idea to segregate garbage during this years Coastal Cleanup was originated by CTC's "green team" - 

June 16th, coinciding with the first year anniversary of their tree plantation initiative, which resulted in 1200 sapplings planted in and around Chennai, our green team was firm on reducing the amount of garbage which would be dumped in Pallikaranai marsh land and contacted several external vendors to recycle segregated materials. They created presentations and posters to educate the thousands of volunteers on which materials to segregate. They contacted other green NGOs like EFI, VR and their own companies to participate in this years cleanup. 2 green leads were assigned to each of the 16 beach zones to brief and supervise the segregation efforts. They also made 16 rakes from scrap yard material which were very helpful in collecting garbage from wet areas like the Adyar river and Kovalam.
Before the cleanup the green team briefed the participants about the segregation process and the need for segregation. Post cleanup they picked up all plastics and glass bottles from the respective zones till late night and delivered all segregated plastics to Madambakkam Panchyat which will be used for laying roads. They approached local vendors and delivered glass bottles. Around 400+ full bottles were given for reuse/recycling. 

A picture is worth a thousand words

Our photography team lead by Karthik, Nivya and Vinoth covered the cleanup drive across the 20km coastline, capturing the thousands of volunteers and spirit of the event and enabling us to share  it with the entire world. They started their preparations 2 weeks before the cleanup, recruiting experienced and enthusiast photographers from our group and prepping them on the purpose of this team. They have been previously covering other major CTC events including marathons, triathlons, TP4 symposium, etc. 3 photographers were assigned to each of the 16 zones and a strategy put in place to quickly retrieve the best photos out of tens of thousands taken that day within a few hours. A shortlist of 170 photos was released to news and social media immediately after the cleanup:

Please do share, tag, like, comment to help us in spreading the word.

Sripad Sridhar, wildlife cinematographer and conservationist stepped forward to cover the event in  HD video. The video will be released within 2 weeks after the editing is complete.

Participating Groups

We sincerely thank the 100+ participating groups - including corporates, NGOs and schools - who greatly helped us in spreading awareness this year. From 8 weeks back when we launched our campaign till Saturday midnight new groups kept joining in wanting to be part of this cleanup initiative. For several this was the second or even third year they were participating.

Bio Bags

We thank Shankker from BioTec Bags, our long-time partner since the start of our Chennai Coastal Cleanup in 2010, who always stood by our side especially in the early days with limited funds and who always generously sponsored our awareness campaign with his bio-degradable garbage bags.

Event partner

We sincerely thank The Hindu for being our event partner this year and helping us in arranging significant funds and creating enormous visibility to our awareness campaign.


We thank Casa Grande, our title sponsor, who funded a major part of the event and sponsored an extensive ad campaign through The Hindu helping us to carry our conservation message to the masses. 
We thank our many other sponsors without whom CCC4 would not have been possible:

Social Media

The Chennai Coastal Cleanup/4 Facebook Page was our main portal to the online world:

Over a period of 8 weeks we published important pre-event updates, shared posters to spread online awareness, engage people in discussions related to conservation, allowing participants to share experiences and photo links, collect feedback, etc. Please do visit our portal and share your views.

We were able to reach out to 70 thousand people online during the last week -

Our message spread out to thousands within India and across the world -

News Media

Casa Grande, our title sponsor, ran an ad campaign in the Metro Plus helping us reach out to a wider audience within the general public
    First ad
    Second ad 

The Hindu set up their own online portal and received hundreds of registrations to participate in our cleanup

Sun TV, Jaya TV, Pudiatalaymurai were present on Sunday morning to capture the event and interview volunteers

The Hindu covered CCC/4 in their editorial on Monday:

Dinamalar also covered on the same day:

The Hindu school edition allowed us to reach out to hundreds of schools -

Casa Grande ran a half page ad in Metro Plus on Thursday to showcase our efforts -

Casa Grande even put up an ad over OMR 10 days before the cleanup carrying our message of conservation within Chennai's IT corridor:


Unfortunately the mayor had another engagement on Sunday morning and could not be present for the inauguration at 6am Besant Nagar

Myself, Shankker from BioTec and our sponsors from Park and Kamachi TMT shared a few words with the volunteers on the history and the spirit behind the Chennai Coastal Cleanup

Beach Zones

A short update from our respective beach zones by some of our zone leads
Disclaimer: inline photos below are randomly inserted. Click on the links below to view the photos for the respective zones

0. Under water cleanup

[Rajini] As part of the coastal cleanup, scuba diving was done to clean up under water debris off the coast of Elliot's beach by Aravind. B, Director of Temple Adventures &  AASAI a 5 star PADI Dive Resort, John AJ Founder & Secretary of Chennai Dive Club & Rajinikandh ARS President of Chennai Dive Club. The technical support, expertise & gears was provided by Temple Adventures Dive School, Pondicherry. A total of two dives were done and the visibility was 8 meters. The first dive was done in a depth of 24 meters and the visibility was very poor, hence the dive was cancelled. The second dive was done in a depth of 17 meters and the visibility was better and we were able to locate some abandoned fishing nets. We tied those nets to the lift bags and we filled the lift bags with the air and the net slowly ascended to the surface. We were not able to see much of an marine life in the bottom of the sea because of poor visibility.

Lot of marine species were entangled and died in the net viz a mature turtle, fishes, crabs, etc. We also observed lot of big & small plastic cups which was entangled in the net. The net which we removed was weighing 15 kgs approx  These finding is only a tip of an iceberg and we can get an complete picture if we do more dives to explore the possible infiltration of debris into the ocean like we did in Pondicherry where 130 kgs of fishing nets were first identified and then we removed them out of the ocean. 
Photo Links Courtesy - Rajini 

1. Lighthouse

Groups: Marina Lighthouse, Bilimoria & Associate, GET Foundation, GLD Movement, Lister Metropolis, MSi Kenny, People for Cattle India, Pranic Healing Home, Slum Soccer, Wabco, KAMACHI TMT, Kanivin Karam Charitable Trust, Shree Niketan Group of schools, Croma Electronics Mega store
Headcount: 712
Garbage bags: 495

[Ashok] After lots of planning the previous day for a perfect handling of around 300 volunteers from 15 registered groups and nearly 450 individual volunteers, we were pretty confident. The cleanup day started at 4:15 AM with water getting delivered very first at Lighthouse and leads assembling to receive it. Ravi Chander our prize find from among CTC registrants made transport easy for us by making his car fully available from the previous evening's pickup at Palavakkam. All the stuff was arranged for distribution and as per plan we put the stuff for groups in separate bags for easy distribution which proved greatly helpful. Many other CTC registrants like Vinod, Hari Kishan, Kiruba, Rangaraj, Eswar and few others had volunteered to lead too and came in early to help. As volunteers started flowing in big numbers after 6 we realized we could not have done without the extra leads' support. Even with them it we felt short - a 20 member team with well defined responsibilities would have done a seamless execution - anyway that is for CCC5.

Most of the groups in Marina like Pranic Healing, Billimoria, People for Cattle, Kamatchi, Photo Copier Association were smaller and very dedicated to the job at hand. Pranic healing, Billimoria and Kamatchi deserve a special mention for coming in quite in time, staying till the end and being diligent about segregation. We had four kids groups from orphanages and schools who added lots of color. The sponsors like MTS, Calvin's fitted in well and played their parts greatly making the whole effort near perfect. Also water, additional gloves when we ran short, refreshments, corporation came well on time. 

Photo Links Courtesy - Noel Prashant R, Pranav,Dinesh Kumar R

2. Santhome

Groups: EVWR India, ISGN, NOKIA, QuadrantFour, Sevai Karangal, Nalmanam, Child Home, Tringapps, V-Trust, Triway, Vazhai, Photocopier Technician Welfare Association, Verizon, Nalmanam, Child Home
Headcount: 300
Garbage bags: 225

[Jothi] My Cheers to the fellow leads Rajasekaran.K, Suresh Kumar, Dhevisivaraman, Arul, Ela, Sucharita who were quite co-operative! Special kudos to Peter and team for their planning tasks for the past one and half months in thinking all the various possibilities played really the key factor in making this fourth edition a grand success. Sharing my experience with Santhome, the leads were there on the zone at 3.45 AM itself. The various companies and NGOs who participated did a decent job.  The local kids who were playing around too caught the spirit and joined hands was really happy to see.

From 880 people to 5500+ head count in a very short period is really a great achievement Team. Of course while talking about the corporate there were few negatives too that they were lazy to do the job. Those corporate IT guys who get less opportunity to spend their time on outdoor activity, so they get tired / dehydrated after spending one hour of clean up activities.  Irrespective of time they spend, we have to acknowledge their desire to be part of this great cause.

Finally all the green warriors went back to their concrete jungle with a heart content that I have done my part to save
 the nature

Photo Links Courtesy - Kumaravel, Jagadeesh SJ,Swaminathan

3. Foreshore

Groups:  Koyambedu, Tirunmangalam Signal, Egmore, Ashok Pillar, IFMR college, Celebration Of Life, Dhanvin Properties, Ernst @ Young, MTS
Headcount: 550
Garbage bags: 522

[Kannan] We like to thank each and everyone of you present there admits your busy schedule for the Chennai coastal cleanup last Sunday .. we were overwhelmed by the response for this Social Initiative. The NGO "Celebration of  Life" registered for 100 people and were there with 130 people to support us .. They were so enthusiastic and lively .. doing any job assigned to them.. Few volunteers they themselves took initiative and entered into heavily polluted areas and cleaned every thing there without any hesitation .. They were with us from the starting till 11.00am without any deterioration in their work force .. 
Ernst & Young was another company did a splendid job .. They just asked us where we should start ..  After that when we came back there and watched the place we were astonished to see a 45 member group cleaned the entire stretch given to them and the garbage bags collected and kept ready for  transport, MTS were extending their support by collecting most of the bottles in the foreshore area and they supported us with sanitizers and umbrella which were much needed for us, Dhavin properties and IFMR college, though they were fewer in number also also helped out very well. 
The individual volunteers from the 4 pickup points did a splendid job - they went to places which were flooded with Coovam water without any hesitation. Joining our leads they removed most of the garbage dumped by the kuppam inhabitants which got inspired and joined the cleanup. This was the one of the most heavily polluted beaches. Prashanth individually handled the entire 80 people in Ashok pillar arranging transport for everyone and stayed with us till the last minute, and a group of 5 people under T.n.Venkataraman 60 years old young guys helped our leads through out the Cleanup we really want to thank all these people from our bottom of our heart. 

Photo Links Courtesy - Balaji, Sridhar, Vishnu Prasad

4. Broken Bridge

Groups: Cognizant, People for Cattle India, Raindropss, Royal Bank of Scotland, TCS
Headcount: 570
Garbage bags: 320

[Satish] The broken bridge zone leads Sathish, Nobel, Jisha, Vikram and Vinod arrived at the Broken Bridge zone by 5.15AM.  We received the first batch of Cognizant volunteers by 5.45AM, followed by volunteers of HP, RBS, Raindropss and TCS.  TCS volunteers attended the inauguration after which they split up between Besant Nagar south and Broken Bridge zones.  The clock was showing 6.30AM when we effectively started garbage picking after initial briefing and distribution of gloves and bags.
I sincerely thank the Cognizant volunteers who wet their hands and legs dirty by venturing into the Adyar river and cleaning the debris near the shores. The Broken Bridge area is quiet wide and long and has lots of garbage, cleaning wouldn't be possible without a large number of volunteers.  The support team did a great job by providing MTS Umbrella shades, refreshment sandwiches, Kevin’s Milk shake which has really helped us to relax after heavy duty on scorching sun.

Photo Links Courtesy - Dakshinamurthy,Balameenakshisundaram.M,Dayanand,Lokesh

5. Besant Nagar

Groups: Besant Nagar, HP,  Give Smiles, ABCO Advisor Services, AFS, HCL, KLA-Tencor, Kotturpuram corporation school, M.Ct.M.C.C. Intl School, Rajesthan Youth Association, SPAAAK, TCS, "Temple Advenutres & AASAI, Chennai Dive Club, Coastal Security Group, Tamilnadu Police", 5th Pillar
Headcount: 550
Garbage Bags: 635

[Balaji] Though the event is for 3 hours, it took months of planning, lots of volunteers (external and internal), sponsors and top of all, efforts and time of all selfless like minded CTCians. Thanks to each and every individual and volunteers who have contributed from behind and Lead from front. We really appreciate and thank each and every individual and groups who have contributed for this event, because of which Besant Nagar Zone reordered with highest number of Garbage collection in less than 3 hours, a special thanks to:
5th Pillar – They stood by their name, one of our zone pillars, assisting us right from pre-event preparation, logistics and as well as field volunteering on the event day, thanks a ton Guru and Team 
BNY Mellon (Inautix) – Though registered in the last minute, 110+ BNY Mellon volunteers came as a surprise with high spirit and motivation stormed in and swept our zone, true contributors, stuck to their task and assisted our group in all departments (distribution, segregation and also on the refreshment distribution as well), we really value your company’s contribution at the higher side.   

SPAAAK - Thanks a ton Abhishek and team for being right through the event
Kotturpuram corporation school – These Kids stood as an example, lot of things to be learnt from them, stayed with the group till the end until the garbage’s are loaded to corporation lorry. 
A special thanks to volunteers who came for the event with their kidz, Thanks to each and every individual who made the difference and contributed towards the event.
This wouldn’t have been possible without Besan Nagar Zone CTC Volunteers and leadsAswin, Vinodh Dhananjayan, Apoorva, Vinod Kumar B, Anu kool, Dhinu Karthick, Muthu Kumar, Palani, Gawtham, Rashmi Jawahar & Varun,
Zone Leads and Green Leads - Shamini, Vijay, Vibin, Saba Nayagam and Lavanya

Photo Links Courtesy - Arun Ajadesh, Balaji Mohan, Saba Nayagam

6. Kalakshetra

Groups: Chennai Food Guide, CII Young Indians, EVP World, Fenner, IBM, Innowave Healthcare, Kidzee
Headcount: 221
Garbage bags: 183
[Ajay] We had a diverse group of people at the Kalakshetra zone. We had employees from IBM, Fenner, EVP world, CII Young Indians and the Chennai food guide who together managed to collect about 183 bags ! Great job done !  The 150 volunteers from IBM took the northern end of the Kuppam and started cleaning. They were a very enthusiastic lot and proved that there were there to clean and not take pictures like many corporate do !! They ended up collecting almost 150 bags.. Truly fantastic ! 
The people from Fenner started cleaning the southern end of the kuppam which had lots of small plastics which required a lot of hard work. We had a couple of kids who did a marvelous job of collecting segregated garbage. Hats off to them ! EVP lost their way initially and started off from a different zone and finally ended up in our zone with about 10 garbage bags. They had to work on Sundays and yet found the time for this noble cause. Much appreciated !!! 
The green leads / Organizers - They were the real heroes of our zone lending support to everyone and also helped in segregating garbage. Special thanks to Durga, Mahesh, Prasanna and Rady !

Photo Links Courtesy - Dominic, Prachi, Jaishri, Harish Srinivasan

7. Tirunvanmyur

Groups: Mindtree, Satyam Venture Engineering Services, Thales, Caterpillar, Karomi Technologies, Mobius
Headcount: 390
Garbage bags: 263
[Sundar] This was my first experience in CTC as a part of the organizing team. I was totally blank and didn't know where to start. Thanks for Masu! He gave me a complete plan which made my task really simple. I was really surprised to see the high turnout ratio (390 out of 410) and all corporates assemble on time.  After that we have started the briefing and distributing the bags and gloves. Raja has really done a wonderful job in explaining on the segregation part. We were short in lead counts compare to headcounts (5 for 390). Thankfully we got some CTC volunteers whose help came handy. Thanks to Gopi Krishna, Jegadeesh and couple of roommates of Manish.
The cleanup process started at 6.15 AM in full swing. Most of the groups are very keen and dedicated in the task given to them. A couple of incidents really impressed me during clean up activity. There was an injury due to the handling of broken glass materials. Then we decided volunteers should not touch the broken glasses without proper gloves. But one individual volunteer brought us a broken bottle without wearing the proper gloves. But she made a comment that she can’t go blindly after seeing a broken glass. So she immediately brought it to the nearby collection point. Hats off to her dedication.

Finally after our photo-shoot, all corporate groups started leaving and we were in a dilemma that how we are going to carry the 270+ garbage bags from the beach zone to the point where vehicle can reach. On that time Satyam Ventures team themselves came forward to help us. Though there were few hiccups, we as a team were able to achieve the purpose. I suggest increasing the frequency of the coastal cleanups and tree plantations.
A special thanks to Balaji, Arun Prabhakar and Manish for supporting throughout the program. 
8. Kottivakam

Groups: Abacus Montessori, Global Analytics, Mindree, Mindtree, Saint Gobain Research, Satyam Venture Engineering Services, Thales, Caterpillar , Sei Maname
Headcount: 250
Garbage bags: 153
[Sahilesh] The Sunday witnessed how we believe in small changes and leading through example. The beach cleanup at Kottivakkam zone was successful in emphasizing the importance of these principles. Mintree with 150 people, Saint Gobain with 30, Global Analytics with 20, Abacus Montessori with 30 kids and Sei Maname with 8 joined hands with CTC to be a part of this biggest cleanup event in Chennai's history. Right after the pre-cleanup briefing, the volunteers set out with their garbage bags. Some seemed to be taking the waste segregation activity pretty seriously. Few others didn't mind it and filled whatever they could see around. The cleaning of Kuppam posed a great challenge. We hoped for a support from Kuppam people which we didn't get, which discouraging. With gloves and bags alone the Kuppam couldn't be cleaned. But the volunteers still did their best. The area other than Kuppam was mildly dirty and hence it was cleaned to a great extent. By 7:30 am the sunrays had already became very sharp. Without water it was pretty difficult for volunteers. 

We asked for a wrap up and started distributing milkshake to volunteers. With breakfast not arriving any soon volunteers decided to call it off. We thanked each group for their participation. Meanwhile the 8 volunteer group Sei Maname was still cleaning the beach will dedication and turned back only by 8:15 am when everybody had left. They even asked if CTC organizes such social activities and I explained them in full detail including our efforts in lake cleanup and planting trees. They genuinely looked interested. I asked them to join our hands in our next event on which they humbly agreed. Overall it was great to see kids and adults participating with enthusiasm and spreading the common message. As usual, next day, I went for beach running. I could not help but smiled and felt proud. A great effort indeed.

Photo Links Courtesy - Arvind, Satya, Gowtham, Praveen

9. Pallavakam South

Groups: Kottivakam, CGI, eBay/PayPal, Emerson, Vernalis Systems, Ashok Leyland
Headcount: 175
Garbage bags: 54

[Nandan] The pallavakkam stretch witnessed amazing energy in the volunteers from cooperates like Ashok Leyland, CGI, eBay-Paypal, Emerson and Vernalis Systems and our own CTC Kottivakkam group.The youngest person in the group was a 4 year girl with a unbeaten enthusiasm accompanied by her father from eBay-Paypal. All the participants enjoyed the company of many school going kids who very innocently picked lot of garbage and were prized with lot of milk shakes and cookies. The love for the nature and the support for such a noble cause did not stop an expectant mother from cleaning the beach with a few intervals of rest.We cleaned the most wide area from Pallavakkam North to the beach south of the Chinna Nellangiri Kuppam. I only wished I had the camera in my hand to photograph Kannan and Preetha along with their 2 kids transporting garbage in the Activa from one end to another. Similar scene was seen with the other parents, who were accompanied by their tiny tots and  practiced moral science as a family. The cooperates whole heatedly shared their resources when there was short of supplies. Completely no hesitation from the participants to pick filthy garbage from stinking areas of the kuppam.

Photo Links Courtesy - PVS Kumar, Durai Murugan,Bharathi Srinivasan,Srinivasan TRK, Vishnu Dayal S 

10. Neelankarai North

Groups: CMA CGM SSC, Dover, Gnana Deepam Trust, Mymaster, Symrise, YMCA, Youth for Seva, Rockwell Automation India Pvt.Ltd
Headcount: 460
Garbage bags: 374

[Shon] Morning 4:50 am, Udhay picked me up from Taramani and we reached Neelankarai North around 5 am as planned and found Nambi (fellow lead) is already present there. Finally other leads, Chandru, Sankar and Raghul (surprise for me!) also came and we kicked off the preparation. Soon Sankar found that the he had brought banner made for YMCA bus. Sankar and I started for Nandanam where the bus was supposed to be boarded. It was late by the time we hang the banner on the bus and it passed 6am, an event time, we started coming back to the beach. YMCA was supposed to get late and hence there on the beach, other leads had started mobilizing the mob coming in for cleanup without waiting for YMCA unlike many other zones where leads waited for all the volunteers to come. 

Finally when we reached the beach, I was surprised and pleased to see how smoothly all the things were going on. I had no clue what to do, everything was just perfect. There were Avin folks standing under one umbrella with milkshakes, MTS folks with hand sanitizers under another umbrella and place of gloves and garbage bags just beside it. All was right at its place and looking well organized. Chandru and Udhay was guiding volunteers to take garbage bags and gloves and walk towards the segregation banner where Nambi was guiding them about the different types of wastes and how to collect those. Raghul was handling Southern part of the Zone. I took some time to observe the things, get one with the environment around and get started. Alas! I got some work. I put on one glove in my right hand and started running towards North where I found group was crossing the zone boundary.

I saw many were struggling to distinguish between types of garbage. Nevertheless, they were collecting whatever comes in their hand. I was amazed seeing the energy of small kids. I was feeling nice to have such a group sincerely following the instruction and working for the betterment of city with so much of energy. One hour and half passed and I found volunteers getting tired and thirsty. Due to the certain reasons, water was not available at the expected time and thirsty volunteers had to quench their thirst by milkshake and that was the starting point of the avalanche of volunteers coming for milkshake. The small kids especially kids from YMCA were discussing more about milkshake than the event, nothing surprising in it though. Finally Chandru with other leads managed to bring few water bubble tops from nearby gym. Slowly all the volunteers had milkshake and engaged themselves in clicking group photos to store these unforgettable moments as memories of future.
Finally with all those photo-shoots and vote of thanks, all the groups and organizations started leaving with satisfaction. I could see one kind of joy on their face while describing how much did they enjoy this event and want to do it on the regular basis till beaches gets so clean so that we can be proud of them. One guy said that he will come next week also for cleanup with CTC. I had to tell him few facts. Amusing comment it was but the fact is that people want to do it on regular basis. All dispersed, sandwiches came. Except Sankar and Udhay who were waiting for Kuppaithotti, all other leads left for Besant Nagar for post event gathering. After those CTC trademark photo shoots and cleanup statistics from Thilak, I did see off my fellow organizers and leads with the feeling of satisfaction of dirtying and sweating(gloves!!) the hands for good cause on normally lazy Sunday morning.
Thanks my fellow CTCian, Volunteers and my zone leads for making this event a wonderful experience.

Courtesy - Siva Subramanian, Rajavel, Yoganand, Rajkumar, Nivethan R

11. Neelankarai South

Groups: Adyar, Guindy, AECOM, Apollo Tires, DELL, Mahindra/Sathyam, Neeyamo Enterprise Solutions, Ramco Systems
Headcount: 270
Garbage bags: 211
[Hari] It all started for me on Wednesday night after the sync up when I looked at the registrations page and realized the amount of enthusiasm shown by the co-organizers and the participants and finally I switched on the ignition and shifted from neutral to first gear. The mails to corporates was done in a flash (10 mins) and then I sat on the mail to the individual volunteers. Finally after 1 hour managed to prepare a mail with all details in and after multiple levels of checking clicked the sent button confidently. That started the ball rolling. Then came the pickup point confirmations, follow up with corporates, Pickup point SPOC identifications and final prep mail to the participants. In between all that me and Gowri went on a jolly ride along the coast to our zone searching for parking spots only to realize at the end that we were not looking at a beach buster, we were looking at a full fledged coastal cleanup. 
We identified spots for parking and demarcations of our region and were all set for the mission. Gowri did a great job by collecting our required items upfront when i came on Sunday and kudos to the zone leads who were full on into segregation of items for zones and separating the biscuits from the covers. I had Ganesh, Tanmai, Viknaraj, Vallaban & Raja who were full fledged on their duty of location spoc. They had the confirmations ready from all the registered participants an also from the cars and bikes. Thanks to them without which it would have been very difficult.
Came  D day and the tension started to build. Woke up at 4:45 and was all set to leave to the zone by 5 only to get calls from Tanmai & Vallab that there were only 4 people each at Adyar and Guindy. Just switched off my brain and started concentrating on things to be done at the zone. First came the umbrellas from MTS and they were up in a jiffy. Then just as we were unloading the bags and gloves from the car, the banners arrived and that was also done. Slowly people started tricking in and in no time we were around 50 people there. In the meanwhile got calls from Tanmai and Vallaban that they have started and are about 50 people in each location. The initial briefings were done and Alex and Gowri went to the ends of the zone to put the umbrellas and extra bags and gloves and the Green Leads took control. Sandhya started distributing the bags and Krishna was in full form educating the volunteers about the segregation. Three friends came up to me and volunteered to pick up glass bottles and stuff and too the gunny bags and special gloves and split up across the zone. One by one the corporates and volunteers started trickling in and in no time the area was swarming with volunteers of all ages busy with their jobs. In no time the refill of bags started and god know how time flew, it was already 8 and we were finished with 200+ bags and the zone looked like it had just had a 5 star beauty treatment.
Slowly the sun started to scorch and with a good job done, the volunteers happily helped themselves to the milk sachets distributed by the enthusiastic representatives from Cavin's. We kept a separate bag for the sachets and straws to dispose and guess the message was embedded in their hearts and minds forever, everyone dumped the trash only in that bag. Almost everyone was having fun bonding over the flavored milk and we still had some enthusiastic people come for bags and gloves reloads. Finally we wrapped it up around 8:45-9 when the corporation tractor's came and the first set of 92 bags were loaded. The cleanup was truly over and it was mission 90% accomplished.

Photo Links Courtesy - Ravikumar, Muthu, Ganesh Kumar, Sivakumar

12. Injambakkam

Groups: Velachery, Bahwan Cybertek
Headcount: 114
Garbage bags: 107

[Gokul] ...

Photo Links Courtesy - Shyam, Arun, Karthikeyan

13. Akkarai

Groups: Bhumi, Rotaract, WIPRO
Headcount: 190
Garbage bags: 156

[Rajesh] We separated Akkarai into 3 sub zones and each zone had 3 leads to guide/help the volunteers. Our zone did an excellent job in segregating the garabages. Lots of people joined us from the Bharathi Avenue Association, many of them are 50+. An elderly couple, also part of the local association, actively participated in the event. They have been cleaning this part of the beach regularly with the help of few others. They are also involved in tree plantation activities. Mrs. Lakshmi also shares a good rapport with the fishermen in the region as she actively worked during the Tsunami to help them. They shared their contact number/address and expressed their interest in working with us in future :)

Few of the locals also part of the association, came forward to clean along with us. A few randomly started collecting the garbage into one bag. We went up to them a little apprehensively to educate them about the segregation methods. They silently listened and said, "Apdiya. Seri. Innoru bag kudu". And to my surprise, they had strictly followed what we told :) :)  Unlike other zones, we had a compact team, which we were able manage quite well. I can understand how difficult it must have been for other teams which had to manage over 100 ppl at once. 

There was a little kid who had just come in to clean, probably from one of the local slums. When I offered him the biscuit he said "Eppo dhana vandhen. Apram vaangikaren" (I just came, will get it later). Amid others posting about encountering with people asking for food this was a heart warming moment.

Photo Links Courtesy - Srikrishna, Gopal, Murali Raja, Shiva Krish

14. Panayur

Groups: Tirunvanmyur, CSC, L&T, PSG Alumni Chapter, Seashore Town Plot Owners and Residents Association
Headcount: 252
Garbage bags: 234

[Vishal] It was an eventful day as the sun ignited not only the beaches but many like minded souls who were geared up to clean up our coastline . Yes , Panayur zone was full of energy right from the start . Be it the energy levels of L&T corporates or the amount of enthusiasm displayed by CSC friends or the keen interest shown by PSG alumni and Sea owner's association , their primary dictum was to make the shorelines clean and recycle the amount of trash . The teams were headed by Masanamuthu and Ganga, who were always ready to give a helping hand and suggestions in segregation along with Prashanth, Shiva and Roop. There were around 250 volunteers lining up to purify this plastic filled place. The photographers Gautam and Shino did a commendable job documenting the work , though they were more interested to make their hands dirty in the field. Guru Ragavan Ravindran was leading in front for CSC , John Victor for PSG and Meera and Gita for L and T surely inspired many individuals. It was the moment in the sun when I witnessed a responsible father who taught his son and daughter to reduce, recycle and reuse after segregation. It was indeed a blissful morning as everyone were dedicated in giving the beauty back to nature and conveyed a strong message to people about environmental conservation.

15. Kovalam

Groups: CSS Corp, Sathyabama, SSN NSS, UST Global
Headcount: 430
Garbage bags: 313

[Saba] First of all we should thank Sathyabama University stunning action guys which never felt bad to dirt their hands in such bad stagnated sea water. SSN, UTS, CSS and many others also spent more time only on cleaning. Vasanth CTC member who was accommodating Sathyabama did a great coordination. Special mention to our CTC members Ram, Praveen, Punitha, Arun, Abishek, CTC photographic team and few more sorry guys don't remember their name, have done untiring contribution should remembered always - great job team. 

I should also mention here Kovalam Panjayath head Janakiraman who provided water, soft drinks, banana to all, Thank you very much sir, Murthy surfing trainer, the guy who was following with us past 7 month's great support thank you Murthy, Showkath TP3 speaker, surfing trainer gave 8 rakes which was great help to cleaning team thank you Showkath. Even though I had tough time with Central Government people because of Cabin Milks banner and parking trouble all went well. Special thanks to Japanese High Commission with her family and friends.

Photo Links Courtesy - Abishek, Vinoth Thambidurai, Srinivasan

16. Madambakkam lake

Groups: Tambaram, Velachery, EFI, IIT Madras
Heacount: 150
Garbage bags: 538

[Siddarth] Planned in the last minute and included as the 16th zone of CCC-4,the cleanup at Madambakkam lake was a huge success-both in terms of the garbage collected and the awareness created!!! Though the permissions and legal formalities relating to the cleanup were handled by EFI, arranging everything in the last two days was a huge magnanimous task-this is where team work helps. One person pitches in and sends preparatory mails on behalf of the organizer,another person interacts with panchayat officials for garbage pickup and others help in logistics,support & coordination - it was a perfect example of team work.The cause ,in everyone's mind was always above his/her own self.
The crew allotted for the lake cleanup included students from IIT Madras, EFI kids and some amazing CTC volunteers from Tambaram & Velachery .Owing to the distance from the city,the event was scheduled to start at 7 AM.Some volunteers arrived a bit early to help us set up the spot. Gloves,garbage bags,caps and other gear were picked up from a friend's place .The volunteers were very well aware that lake cleanups are a bit tougher than coastal cleanups and require additional care.There were broken bottles in each & every step. Thorn trees were present all round the spot and few of our volunteers even encountered bee attacks-thanks to the presence of the Alert Team,immediate care was always available !!!
The headcount was relatively less and the garbage was literally all around us - the volunteers rose up to the situation ,assumed responsibility and worked well beyond the mentioned time frame!!!They din't frown or fret at the prospect of having to pick napkins and condoms Every volunteer was up-to date with our segregation guidelines and led by example.They were also open to suggestions whenever required.We collected almost 50 bags of thick plastics,120 bags of thin plastics,several bags with broken and unbroken glass and 3 lorries(almost 360 bags) full of disposable waste. Imagine how much we need to change our lifestyle,when there is so much of waste from simple residential disposal. Thanks to Sudhakar for thoughtfully considering all these aspects for devising the disposal plan.
The EFI kids were an inspiration-led by Arun,they were awesome,as usual :) They din't even bother to rest or relax,leave alone halting for snacks and breakfast!!! Arun & the team also addressed our volunteers on their plans for the lake,its fencing and restoration. The locals were very cooperative too-made arrangements for  restrooms and drinking water  and gave us company throughout the event . And one thing which we noticed was that the amount of garbage accumulated at the lake was relatively less than what we saw during our previous cleanup there. A change is slowly happening and we could realize that - and at the end of the day , after hours of hard work and days of meticulous planning , this is what we require , this is the only thing that can make us happy!!! 
Thanks to CTC for the wonderful opportunity - met some amazing souls,returned home with some wonderful memories, satisfied that our world is now in safe hands,safer than ever.Of course, tired bodies and refreshed souls-this is what we experience at CTC every weekend !!!!

Photo Links Courtesy - Angshuman Baruh,Gnanambighai,Steevez

Overall Photo Links

Hope to see many of you soon in our ongoing green events, tree plantations, cleanups, social treks, outdoor adventures and more


Sathya Natarajan on: June 22, 2013 at 5:21 AM said...

Adding to the history, CTC started beach clean up much before the first grand event in 2010. With a few volunteers, clean up started in some of the beach areas and started making a difference. I still remember the days, when a few volunteers cleaned the beach from 10 to 1pm in the hot sun, when temp. was around 40 deg.

What we take for granted may not last with us for a long time. Beach is one of those best natural gifts to all of us, which needs our attention.


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