During the Sabarimala season 2014 - 15, many activities were done to provide adequate awareness among the pilgrims to reduce plastic waste. Almost all the communication channels were used covering all trekking paths, roads and transport media. A campaign by stopping all vehicles enroute, a campaign through KSRTC buses, providing awareness through video walls, hoardings, cloth banners and various boards, an awareness campaign through all petrol outlets and dissemination of information through online / mobile platforms like WhatsApp, SMS and Email were done last year.
In addition, 76 eco-guards were posted to protect forest and to clean the pathways. Plastic exchange counter was also set up wherein people can deposit used plastic or plastic waste and in return a cloth bag was given to them all.
This pilot project titled 'plastic free Sabarimala' campaign was successful and it was well received by pilgrims. This year, it was decided to conduct awareness generation activities by expanding the campaign to many other areas like railway stations, bus stations and idathavalams. Also, it was envisaged to have more activities like signature campaign and deployment of green guards to ensure that devotees take the pledge to have a responsible pilgrimage. Also, in addition to 'anti plastic campaign', it was desired to have a campaign to protect the holy river Pamba, especially to put an end to the practice of throwing cloths to the river. Further, it was also decided to have separation of waste at source and to ensure implementing a better waste manage system in Sabarimala. With this broad vision, 'mission GREEN Sabarimala' project has been conceived. It's a project implemented with the association of Travancore Devoswom Board and multiple departments, agencies and sponsors