Setting An Example! IIT Madras Students Go On a Beach Clean-Up Drive To Create Awareness About Saving The Environment!

India proudly boasts of having some top-notch educational institutes in almost all the major disciplines – Medicine, Engineering, Management, Design etc. The alumnus of these schools are today at important positions in various industries. The students of IITs and IIMs are looked at with respect and this gives them the potential to be the changemakers in the society. Apart from their rich academic pursuits, these students can be the flag bearers of a progressive society and make a statement about important issues that need to be discussed. One such major issue plaguing our Mother Earth is pollution. Every tourist place’s natural beauty has been deteriorated by the litter created by us. Be it mountains or beaches, no place is devoid of the dirt spilled by us.  

On this Gandhi Jayanti, the students of IIT Madras decided to highlight the importance of cleanliness by organizing a Beach Clean up drive in association with an NGO named Lions Club Aayush.


Students setting an example for the society 

Almost 100 students from different backgrounds gathered together at 5 AM in the morning to make this unique drive successful. The drive was organized as a part of the Business festival of the institute, Samanvay, which is conducted by the Department of Management Studies (DoMS). There were students from Mechanical, Electrical, Chemistry, Humanities and other Departments of IIT Madras which came together for this activity. The diverse group also contained some foreign students from countries like France, Germany and Portugal. They were extremely enthusiastic to contribute towards a cleaner and greener Earth.  


The drive was going to be conducted at the Besant Nagar beach in Chennai and the students reached even before sunrise. The beach looked beautiful from a distance as the sun just started to come up but a closer look showed its true picture. It was littered with all sorts of leftovers – food, clothes, plastic – everywhere. The students were addressed by the authorities of the Lions Club before starting with the drive.

“The entire activity was very thought-provoking. We generally overlook all the litter and have a good time at the beach. But today, when we had to come to action on our own, it makes us feel so guilty. Humans are destroying our own planet. I promise to not even throw a small wrapper on the roads now,” said a student taking part in the drive.


A thought-provoking initiative

The main idea behind the drive was to spread a message of saving the environment. Seeing the students of one of the most reputed institutes of the country get down and act inspired other citizens. Of course, the change won’t happen immediately, it is a gradual process, but even if a few minds could be inspired by seeing IITians clean the beach, then the purpose has started to be served.

“We, the young blood of IITM set out on a mission to do our bit for the nation. Around 100 volunteers across all departments cycled till Besant Nagar Beach and participated in the Beach Clean Up Activity. I as a co-ordinator was very enthusiastic about the whole event as it was the first of its kind by IITM. The students actively participated and collected trash from the beach. The enthu level of the students was so high that even the scorching heat did not stop them. It gave us a feeling of accomplishment for having done something for the environment rather than lazing around on Tuesday morning,” said Aishwarya Cholin, the co-ordinator of the event.


Change needs to come from the youth and such initiatives by students of the top institutes are necessary to make the society more aware. Going further, the Department of Management Studies are also organizing a marathon to raise awareness about Organ Donation as a part of Samanvay.


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