Lakshadweep, regaining beauty

Lakshadweep is the only place in India where you can find a coral reef formation. Lakshadweep, as the name suggests itself ‘a hundred thousand islands’ and is known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape. Now, Lakshadweep sets an example to the world in environmental protection. Lakshadweep, a popular tourist destination with its sugar sands, clear water and beautiful beaches, has been turned into a wasteland. The land has taken steps towards becoming a plastic waste-free island. Initially the cleaning of the beach was undertaken by individuals and small groups. Now, the island, is attempting to tackle the problem under an initiative of the Maliku (Minicoy’s name in the local language) Development Society (MDS) and various NGO’s.

The growing population in the wake of modernity, the many unscientific constructions of the governing bodies, the excessive use of plastic and their careless abandonment have made Lakshadweep full of debris. Now, efforts have been taken in order to protect the environment, realizing the islands existence. Except for coconut and fish, everything is available from the mainland in plastic packets. People here usually throw them away or burn them and this has led to severe ecological and health hazards in the island. The discarded plastic was affecting the coral reefs while on land they hindered the root growth of coconut trees and rainwater circulation. The increase in the cancer cases was also a contribution by the continuous burning of plastic.Efforts were taken to tackle the plastic waste, given awareness classes to the local people, provided waste bins to all households for waste segregation at the source, demonstrated the waste management methods and cleaned up the village thoroughly. Hundreds of bags of plastic waste collected and recycled and the food waste was given to the animals. Communities were formed from different islands to plant trees on occasions and maintain them. New generation is adopting various measures including social media platforms and door-to-door awareness. In addition to the organizations and general public, various government departments are working together to regain the lost beauty of Lakshadweep under the slogan ‘Green Clean Lakshadweep’.