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Day 8 : Puzzled Citizen, Puzzling Politicians and a day in the Company of Activism Stalwarts

Friends, apologies for not updating the updates blog of late but a lot has been happening here. Day 8 sees us travel from Erode to Thirrupur. Buoyed by the excellent events of Day 7 and sapping inspiration and determination from the incredible work being put into place by other eco-warriors , social activists, teachers and the government support for under privileged children, we were ready to march on in Day 8. Natesa Iyer, although very insistent on continuing, was forced by me to take a breather during the late stretches of Day 8 so that his blistered feet would recover.

There were surprises along the road in Day 8, including being greeted by a group of local politicians, who wrapped a shawl and congratulated us for the walk we were doing.

Furthermore, as always curious citizens always stopped us to ask us what the reasons for the walk were. Particularly touching, was a dear citizen, called Dorai, who asked me “Why am I walking so fast?” I found this particularly moving and also afforded a cheeky smile.

Nearing the end of Day 8, we met Dr.Jeevananthan, a veteran in the environmental movement. It was an extraordinary encounter with a stalwart in the field of activism. He has been single handedly responsible for setting up various institutions, including hospitals and education centres.

He took us to one of these institutions he has set up, where we met hundreds of students, exchanged a lot of ideas about current affairs and of course, the reasons behind our walk for fair trade and climate justice. All the students have committed themselves to walking and adding cumulative miles to the walk!

After that, we moved onto another environmental champion, Mr.Selvam from Erode. His main messages, of poignant note were: 1) Every product must state its carbon foot print ; 2) All government projects must declare its socio-economic impact and lastly, 3) every citizen must take active action for stopping man-made climate change. He took us to the school, Selvam, where a fired up head-teacher told us and the current students about how an ex-batch of students had helped to shut down a chemically aggressive factor creating Viscose (a synthetic fabric) in the Mettupalayam area.

A wonderful day. I am inspired to see the amazing work other activists and social workers are doing. It keeps me going, along with the beautiful support shown from around the world.

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy,
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