Attukal Pongala, an annual festival that sees the largest gathering of women in Kerala, was celebrated with fervour in Thiruvananthapuram last week.
Every year, scores of women come out onto the streets and cook pongala (a sweet porridge) as an offering to the Attukal Bhagavathy.
Photo source: Kerala Tourism
But what set the festival apart this year was that it was celebrated in an eco-friendly manner, after the city corporation implemented a green protocol.
Nearly 20 lakh devotees participate in the festival every year and the civic authorities face a huge challenge in cleaning up the discarded plastic glasses and plates that are strewn all over the city.
This time around, the devotees were expected to carry their own steel glasses and plates, in order to avoid a mess later on. Voluntary organisations serving food and water were also asked to use steel utensils during the event.
The Suchitwa Mission and the corporation deputed 300 volunteers to ensure a green Attukal Pongala.
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According to officials, as many as 10,000 steel tumblers and 3,000 plates were collected from the residents of the city to share with those coming from outside.
As many as 3,000 workers and 65 lorries were deployed for the clean-up drive after the festivities.
Photo source: attukalpongala.blogspot.co.in
They collected 80 tonnes of waste. The roads were also washed by night.
“The campaign was successful to the extent of 60%. This reduced our cleaning task,” said Mayor V.K. Prashant to The New Indian Express.