By Saravanan Rajan, AFS India Alumni, Volunteer AFS India Chennai Chapter

“Being an alumni of a prestigious program is to change the world. But, not all of us have the opportunity to do even a little in making this world a better place. So the volunteers of Chennai decided to do community service at least once every month, starting from September.

One of the main issues around the world is water scarcity. Sometimes we receive rain and sometimes we don’t but saving water has become one of the most important factors.

Apart, from the reservoirs, lakes are the most effective way of storing water. But currently, it is being turned out into a dump-yard, a place where all the waste ends. So we started off with cleaning the lakes which were filled with trash and waste.

An NGO called Environmentalist Foundation of India (E.F.I) basically works on the restoration of lakes. We volunteered in one of their weekends Lake Cleanup activities.  We cleaned a part of the Kothandaramar Lake in West Mambalam, Chennai, India on 1st September 2018 from 7 am to 9 am. 

 We are planning to do an awareness program along with EFI to give presentations to school children and also bring clubs like NCC (National Cadet Corps) and NSS (National Service Scheme) from schools to work on various activities like Lake Cleanup and wall paintings. There were three YES program alumni and four alumni of various other programs took part in this project. Thanks to the volunteers who participated. We are also planning to involve in beach cleanups in near future with the help of more volunteers. We are planning to include more school students and build up with an awareness program around Chennai.”