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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Kerala: Catholic priest sets out on solo bike tour to spread message of green goals

Father Prasant Palakkappillil has been a noted environmentalist in Kerala and has spearheaded numerous programmes and activities on conservation. His solo bike journey also follows the theme designated by the UN for the year 2021: The international year of peace and trust.

Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: August 14, 2021 4:57:48 pm
Father Prasant Palakkappillil, a Catholic priest and former principal of the Sacred Heart College in Thevara in Kochi, Kerala, is off on a solo bike trip across India. (Photo: Facebook)

Written by Riya Joseph

“I would be happy if I can convert one individual to be a zero-waste person. If even one person is able to proudly say they are zero-waste, that would be a great thing.”

With this idea in mind, Father Prasant Palakkappillil, a Catholic priest and former principal of the Sacred Heart College in Thevara in Kochi, Kerala, is off on a solo bike trip across India. He plans to travel through the country, meet people and communities and exchange ideas about solving waste management problems through sustainable goals.

“It has been a long pending dream of mine to go around and explore. Being a development worker, I’m combining things that are very close to my heart on this journey like sustainable development goals for waste management. I’ll be trying to meet different people to explore the green initiatives they have undertaken. My focus is to see how waste is being managed. I think that’s one practical point on which everybody can work together so the planet and resources are cleaner and not polluted,” he told indianexpress.com over phone earlier this week.

The priest, who belongs to the order of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) under the Syro-Malabar Church, commenced his trip on August 10 from Kochi and is expected to make his way through Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bengal, Bihar, Punjab and the Northeast region before concluding by October 31. “It is unplanned and not very detailed. I hope to meet my peers and friends and spend time exploring places with them wherever possible,” he said.

Fr. Prasant has been a noted environmentalist in Kerala and has spearheaded numerous programmes and activities on conservation. His solo bike journey also follows the theme designated by the United Nations for the year 2021: The international year of peace and trust. He hopes to spread the message of the Swachh Bharat campaign and Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.

“One thing I would like to get across to the people is that waste management can be followed through simple practices like segregation of waste, which although a very old lesson, is still not practised today,” he said.

“I feel it’s important to protect the environment for everyone to live happy and healthy lives. We should be concerned about the air, soil and water getting contaminated and causing illnesses. We need a healthy planet to lead healthy lives.”

(Riya Joseph is an intern with indianexpress.com based in Thiruvananthapuram)

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