Thaipusam 2019: The Clean Heroes

It was a little after 5 p.m, I was walking around the Batu Caves temple, taking pictures of trash for blog post when I spotted a small group of people cleaning up the place. They were wearing normal t-shirt, jeans and hand gloves, moving around with large garbage bags and cleaning tools. Although it was drizzling, they didn’t mind picking up trash one by one. They managed to clean the piles of garbage outside Lord Ganesh Temple within a few minutes!

Initiated by Poochandi team, the cleaning campaign ran for 3 days (19, 20, 21 January) with the help of some volunteers. They also provided garbage bags to each stall in Batu Caves as an encouragement for people to not litter.

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Team leader Wickneswaren Kaliaperumal shared his thoughts (and disappointments).

“This is our first time. The cleaning campaign is an effort to raise awareness on what has been around for so long. This isn’t something new. In fact, Malaysians still lack the knowledge on environmental issues and waste management. Thaipusam is an example. Just look at the amount of garbage scattered all around the place. I don’t know if we can change people’s mindset, but we can shape the minds of our children. They are the future generation. We should educate them on the importance of preserving our environment,” he said.

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However, due to inadequate manpower, they could only spend approximately 3 hours per day for clean-up.

“Our team is small, very small compared to the massive crowd visiting the temple throughout the whole day. Within a few minutes after the clean-up, people will start littering again. We couldn’t conduct the cleaning activity for more than once per day, it’s exhausting and there’s no enough people to take turns. But I hope we have made a difference, no matter how small it is. Plus, we will make a better comeback next year,” he added.

A big thumbs up for the team!

Bonus information: Poochandi is the team’s debut horror movie coming to cinema this July.

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