On the occasion of World Environment Day, more than 100 people gathered in Vellarada to express their solidarity with the “Save Sahya” movement against quarry of Mt. Sahya.
There have always been different points of view on our environment. Often, it is understood as a resource to be used freely for the economic growth and industrial development of a country. This approach tends to overlook that it provides only a short term solution and contributes to the development of big companies. The other side of the coin is that resources are limited and once destroyed, cannot be restored. What means development for big companies, often means degradation for the majority of the population.
For this reason, Action Council Vellarada fights for a model of sustainable development which benefits the local communities and protects the environment. The overall objective of development should be the uplift of living conditions for all while conserving natural resources.
Mt. Sahya is the tail of the Western Ghats at the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is 7 km long and 3500 feet high. There are plans to quarry this mountain in order to obtain stone for construction of the harbour and production of stone powder. This would heavily affect the local communities and the whole region. The president of Action Council Vellarada, Mr. Resalayyan, explains that “in Trivandrum city there are only 1800 mm of rain per year while the mountain area receives 3800 mm. Of rainfall. The mountain is also source of seven streams which deliver drinking water for the whole area. If the mountain was quarried down, the rivers would dry and the climate would change affecting the water supply and agriculture.”
World Environment day has been celebrated since 1973 to raise awareness about environmental issues. Therefore, more than 100 people came together in Vellarada to raise their voice and declare solidarity with the “Save Sahya” movement. Participants of the event were mainly local high school students and participants of the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs (IISE) from all over the world. All together, we admired the beauty of the mountain during a march to the foot of Mt. Sahya. In a public function, several speakers expressed their firm opinion that Mt. Sahya must be protected. Interests of a small group of people can not prevail over the common interest of the population and the environment.
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Action Council Vellarada