Traffic cops across the country stand on busy junctions, day in and day out, in extreme weather and air pollution to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles.
While the nature of their work exposes them to the elements and that may be an occupational hazard, one cannot deny that this job requires a high level of commitment and sincerity, especially during the summer months.
However, thanks to a group of children, the cops and home guards handling the traffic in the towns of Iritty and Mattannur near Kannur in Kerala will feel a lot cooler this summer.
Saddened by their plight, these children, who are a part of Thalir Mukkatty, a local environment group, came up with an eco-friendly solution to alleviate their discomfort.
So, what is the solution? Well, a protective layer made up of the arecanut leaf!
Dried arecanut leaf sheaths are taken and cut out in the size of police caps. They are then soaked in water before being placed inside the cap.
Found abundantly in Kerala, arecanut palm leaf sheaths are known for their heat dispelling traits upon moistening, and the kids tapped right into it!
The group comprises Pranav Prakash, Suryanarayanan, Albin Babu, Anagha Padmanabhan, Aditya Rajesh, Aswathy Padmanabhan, PP Sreerag, KS Yadu Nanda, PP Anurag, SP Anunanda, KT Trishna, KT Tejas, KT Tanusha, Karthik Sasi, Deepak Jayaram and PP Mrudul.
They were guided by Sajesh Parakkandy, a Civil Excise Officer deployed at the Excise Range Office in Iritty.
In a conversation with The Better India, Sajesh mentions that he has used a similar sheath in the past.
“I used to wear this myself and had even raised awareness about it, a few years ago. Many police personnel, as well as local citizens, had gotten these from me, but their usage died down. Last month, an experiment by these children revived interest in these sheaths, and I am so happy to see that the cops have responded positively,” he says.
Sajesh also said that making these sheaths was not exactly an easy task.
“But the kids were really involved in the process, which made it fun. We have organised many environmental activities in the past, and these kids have been some of the most active participants. They are quick to join any initiative that I come up with,” he laughs.
As mentioned earlier, Thalir Mukkatty has been involved in many conservational activities, including plantation drives, using upcycled plastic bottles as water dispensers for saplings, waste collection initiatives in the region.
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It is inspiring to see such a driven group of young crusaders, who are leaving no stone unturned to save their environment. Sajesh, who has been a guiding force for these kids, also deserves praise.
This is undoubtedly a pretty ‘cool’ invention, and we wish them luck in all their future endeavours.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)