In the sustainability race, India is coming in first. In the past year, it engineered the world’s first solar train and set a record for planting trees. The country relies not on advanced technology but the sheer determination of it’s citizens. In fact, 700 villagers made it their mission to restore a dead river by hand in just 70 days.
For two decades, the Kuttemperoor river in south Kerala’s Alappuzha district slowly choked under the weight of rampant illegal sand mining and construction sites that dumped tons of sewage on its once-pristine banks.
A… local group of villagers… have spent weeks wading through toxic waste, algae and risking deadly water-borne diseases to physically de-silt and clean the river.
The river is a primary water source, making it potentially hazardous if in a polluted state. A non-responsive government and harsh droughts forced villagers to take matters into their own hands.
“Once we removed all waste [the] river started recharging on its own and on [the] 45th day flow started. For women folk, it was not just a work for money but it was [a] gargantuan task to revive a lifeline,”
The village may have seen success, but the challenge is far from over. Kuttemperoor river will demand a lifetime of maintenance, something it’s beloved community will surely make a priority.