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Paralysed man who cleaned lake hailed by PM

Voluntarily collected dumped bottles

In this month’s edition of Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the commitment of NS Rajappan, a differently abled man from Kaippuzhamuttu, near Kumarakom, Kerala. For several years, Rajappan has been earning a living by collecting plastic bottles floating on the lake and the streams linked to it.

 During the speech, Mr. Modi spoke about an elderly person, “who makes us realise our responsibilities. In Kottayam of Kerala, there is an elderly ‘divyang,’ N.S. Rajappan Sahab. He cannot walk due to paralysis, but this has not affected his commitment to cleanliness,” the Prime Minister said. “Taking inspiration from Rajappan ji, we too should, wherever possible, contribute to cleanliness,” he added.

 He mainly collects plastic bottles dumped in the water. The plastic thus collected is cleaned and dried before being sold to a local agency at ₹12 a kilogram.

 Earlier this year, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Erik Solheim too had shared a brief video on Rajappan on social media, along with a request that ‘we should make him famous’.

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