It is that time of the year where you can see thousands of Indians fulfilling their vows by wearing yellow attire and offering milk or taking ‘kavadi’. This auspicious festival is called Thaipusam and is celebrated grandly in Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Penang Waterfall Hilltop Temple and Sri Subramaniar Temple in Ipoh.
You just need to type out Thaipusam on any search engine and you can find the meaning of the festival, why it is celebrated, how Indians celebrate it so on. Despite it being an Indian oriented festival, many people of other races and even foreigners get together to witness and learn the culture.
Unfortunately, many of us fail to realize the after effect of the event, where we can find piles of rubbish scattered all over the temple vicinity. The rubbish usually includes milk bottles/boxes which had been used to fill up the milk pots carried by devotees, plastics and polystyrene such as food packets and cutlery.
Every year, different campaigns will be up to create awareness and to remind devotees and others to not litter. This year, Clean Thaipusam 2020 is expected to have a mass change in devotees’ view on leaving behind trashes.
Clean Thaipusam 2020 is an initiative first started last year by filmmaker JK Wicky and a group of dedicated individuals to ensure the cleanliness of the surroundings. Last year, the team focussed on only Batu Caves temple and their effort was vastly praised. Therefore, the team have decided to add on Penang and Ipoh temples this year. Below will be the small gestures we can imply to contribute to the Clean Thaipusam campaign.
Start From Yourself
First of all, you should understand the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD”. So, whenever you need to throw rubbish, make sure you find a rubbish bin that is not fully filled. Many a time what we tend to do is, throw the rubbish although we find the rubbish bin already have overflowing rubbish in it. The verse “hands that serve are holier than lips that pray” makes a lot sense because it is our responsibility to make sure humans are kind to nature.
Bring Your Own Cup
It is common to have ‘thannir panthal’ (drink stall) during Thaipusam that serves ‘mooru’ (buttermilk), juice or even ‘payasam’. Usually all these are served in plastic cups which eventually becomes rubbish after use. This time around, it is encouraged to bring along your own cup, where you can rinse and use back, in order to reduce not only rubbish but plastic usage.
Since hashtag is the in-thing now, let us utilize the #CleanThaipusam by uploading before (filled with rubbish) and after (cleaned by you) pictures. This will not only make the environment cleaner but it will encourage many others out there to follow you. Meaning, you will literally be a role model for a good act.
Hair For Cancer Patient
One of the most common vows is to offer your hair, where thousands of devotees will shave their head bald as a sacrifice to thank the lord. If you know how much hair a barber gets to throw a day, just imagine how much hair will be collected from thousands of people. This year, under the Clean Thaipusam campaign, the team have decided to have a booth for those with long hair to donate their hair to NGO’s that deal with cancer patients, to make wigs for them.
Last but not least, all this is only possible when there is enough headcount in the team to execute every activity that have been planned. Since this year the team wants to cover additional two temples compared to last year, they definitely need more people to give them a helping hand. So, do not wait further, and get yourself registered as a volunteer to be a part of this wonderful team.
Our ‘Two Sats’
After all, it is not that difficult to have a clean and green Thaipusam. With all the viruses around the world, it is vital to maintain a great hygiene. So, let us all join hands and work towards keeping our environment clean and safe.
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