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70-Yr-Old Kerala Writer Donates 10,000 Clay Water Pots To Save Birds In Summer; Planted 50,000 Fruit-Trees Last Year

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With the mercury soaring at an unprecedented rate, Kerala, along with most of Southern India, is gearing up to battle the scorching tropical heat. While air-conditioned rooms can provide respite to people, the situation is quite terrifying for animals and birds. In an urban cityscape, the speechless souls fail to find a shade to rest under or some cold water to quench their thirst.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

In the small town of Muppathadam in Ernakulam, Kerala, a 70-year-old man is determined to protect the birds from the scalding heat. Sreeman Narayanan, an environmental crusader and writer, has distributed 10,000 earthen pots among the residents urging them to keep water for the birds in the unbearable summer months. For this purpose, he spent over 6 lakh rupees entirely from his personal savings. Speaking to Efforts For Good, he informed that he is willing to distribute almost 12,000 to 15,000 pots this year for the birds, probably in the entire expanse of Ernakulam. The project titled ‘Jeevajalathinu Oru Maanpathram’ (translation – an earthen pot for life-saving water) has received recognition and support from Kochi Municipal Corporation as well.

An ordinary citizen, an extraordinary visionary

Narayanan is an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary vision. His hometown Muppathadam is located in the Eloor-Edayar industrial belt, which is often in the news for its aggravating pollution. The septuagenarian social worker is a one-man army, with an aim to preserve the environment. Over the years, he has undertaken diverse initiatives to restore the natural richness of his birthplace – ranging from mass-scale afforestation to turning Muppathadam plastic-free. All of his programmes are entirely self-financed.

He has been donating mud pots every summer

Distributing the water pots for birds is not something new for Narayanan, who has been keeping up the practice since his youth. However, the huge number of pots he has distributed this year has propelled him to the long-deserving limelight.

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“I have consistently donated around 100 to 200 earthen pots every summer. I would ask well-wishers to contact me and hand over the pots to them, going door to door. But, I would find people misusing the pots, keeping it for personal use and depriving the birds. That’s why this year I have asked people to come and collect from me personally,” informs Narayanan. People from as far as Kottayam and Thrissur districts are coming down to collect pots from him.

Sreeman Narayanan Kerala Birds

The programme this year was officially inaugurated at Mar Baselios College of Kottayam, where the principal poured water into an earthen pot as a symbolic gesture. Later, students of the college kept several filled pots for birds across the college premises.

The best way to spend his savings

Narayanan earns from a lottery business and a small-scale restaurant he owns. A staunch believer in the Gandhian way of life, he does not hesitate in spending his savings for the greater good of the world. He believes his life should send out a message to the society.

A widower for the past three decades, Narayanan has brought up all his three daughters completely on his own. He is happy that they are peacefully settled now. Instead of saving more, he considers spending on the environment a better use of his income.

From planting trees to making his hometown plastic-free

However, the distribution of earthen pots is only a small glimpse of Narayanan’s efforts as a true-blue environmentalist. Last year he has distributed over 50,000 saplings of fruit trees throughout Ernakulam district, under the project name ‘Vrikshayaknja’. It had cost him a whopping 15 lakh rupees.

Sreeman Narayanan Kerala Birds

“In Muppathadam, I had personally supervised the planting of over 10,000 mango and jackfruit trees in the compounds of the houses. I took my team of three and visited every family home, convincing them to grow a fruit tree in their courtyard, to feed the birds and monkeys,” he shares.

To eliminate the use of plastic, he once donated over 3,000 cloth bags to families in his village. However, no effort can achieve long-term success unless awareness is raised in a person’s conscience. With that objective in mind, Narayanan donated 5,000 copies of Gandhiji’s celebrated autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Earning multiple accolades as an author

It would not be fair to draw the line at his social endeavours and overlook the illustrious award-winning writer he is. The double Masters’ degree-holder in Malayalam and Economics has authored nine books in various genres. Environmental degradation and its harsh consequences on humanity often feature heavily in his novels and short stories. His latest book Ente Puzha deals with the pollution in the Periyar river.

His poetry for children fetched him the Kerala State Institute for Children’s Literature award in 2016. Kerala Sree Award, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer Award comprise some of his literary honours, and the recent SK Pottekkatt award was given to him for his environmental endeavours.

Efforts For Good take

Recently, the #BirdBathChallenge started in Kochi by a group of techies has gone viral, which urges people to place a bowl of clean water for the parched birds. The group insisted the willing participants to opt for clay vessels which keep the water cooler for a longer duration.

While human beings can find one way out or another to escape the barbaric summer heats, the helpless birds often find no respite. Sreeman Narayanan’s initiative is truly a most necessary step towards a better world.

For helping Sreeman Narayanan in his initiative, contact him at  9995167540 or 7012282098

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Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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Supporting Education Of COVID Hit Students

19,200 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

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Supporting Acid Attack Survivors During COVID

26,651 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

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Providing Clothes To Tribal Children

1,11,860 Raised
Out of 9,00,000

Share

Back To School : Supporting Rural Education

28,631 Raised
Out of 15,00,000

Share

Rahat COVID: Relief Work by Goonj

1,04,887 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

No To Hunger : Free Meals To Underprivileged

5,87,014 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Provide Ambulance : Help Them Reach Hospital On Time

3,82,370 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Support Pranitha To Donate Oxygen And Ration Kits

8,35,618 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Project Annapoorna : Become A Hunger Warrior

7,582 Raised
Out of 1,50,000

Share

The Stray Project : A Thought Of Humanity

41,094 Raised
Out of 2,50,000

Share

Ended

Stand By Ladakh

40,962 Raised
Out of 1,00,000

Share

Closed

Support our Frontline COVID Warriors

25,615 Raised
Out of 5,00,000

Share

KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

97,02,146 Raised
Out of 1,00,00,000

Share

Campaign Closed
Brought machinery

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

1,36,544 Raised
Out of 3,85,000

Share

9 Happy Fridges Installed
Ordered a minivan and sent for modification

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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