|On June 26, 2005, the village of Nainar Kuppam accorded a grand civic reception to members of ECCO and distinguished visitors, Prof Udipi Shrinivasa and Pros Sultan Ismail. These were invited because of their work that cares for the environment. Prof Shrinivasa of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is the re-discoverer of tree based vegetable oils that can be used as biodiesels.Prof Ismail is is leading advocate of vermicomposting. |
ECCO has been urging fishing villages to plant pongamia pinnata trees, from whose oilseeds they can extract and use diesel substitutes.
|To drive home the point a street play was staged. So when the parade ended, we all sat in a circle and watched the play. It was loaded with informtion and had hilarious bits about a future without petroleum, when grooms will demand diesel as dowry instead of gold.|
|Men, women and children seem to have caught on the idea. The village has promised to plant at least a 1,000 trees along its roads and beaches.|
We had also arranged for a regular fishing engine to be run on pongamia oil, after the play. The fishermen were now believers. They were also struck by the simplicity of the required conversion.
|The street play amused everyone. From left, Prof Shrinivasa, Mr Nazimali, an ECCO member, and Prof Ismail. Both the visitors in their speeches underlined the importance of environment and self-sufficiency for local commununities.|
|ECCO has committed to donate boats, engines and nets for the fisermen. Here are some of them dressed up and lined up for the occasion. They were formally dedicated to service that day.|
|Then there was of course a meeting and speeches. Everyone was honoured - most certainly, Mr Gandhirajan, the boat builder.|