Sabarimala Temple Cleanliness (PPP CSR Cleanliness Initiative) (Download PDF)


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In 2015, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited joined hands with the organizers of the Sabarimala pilgrimage to support an initiative to clean up waste accumulated during the pilgrimage period.

Image of Cleaning of sabrimala temple

Image of Cleaning of Sabrimala Temple

Image of Cleaning of sabrimala temple

What Initiated the Cleanliness Project?

  • In 2012, an elephant in the Pathanamthitta district in the southern part of Kerala, died from ingestion of large amounts of waste from the Pamba River.

  • It was unnerving for most people, since the elephant is an integral part of the local culture.

  • The waste ingested included clothing and plastic that was thrown into the river as part of a traditional ritual during an annual pilgrimage that involves throwing ones clothes into the river after taking a dip in it.

  • Over the two-month pilgrimage period, huge amounts of plastic are disposed by visitors into the eco-sensitive forest

What is Sabarimala Pilgrimage?

  • Every year around 30 million people trek up to pay respect to the Shrine of Lord Ayappa, popularly known as ‘Sabarimala. ‘

    Map of Sabrimala Temple

    Map of Sabrimala Temple

    Map of Sabrimala Temple

What is Mission Green Sabarimala project?

  • Authorities and organisers of this pilgrimage observed the effects of the waste and were looking for partners and programmes that could help minimize and perhaps eliminate this waste.

  • In 2015, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited started ‘Mission Green Sabarimala’ to alleviate the environmental impact of the pilgrimage.

  • First, they set up PET exchange kiosks that incentivized the exchange of used PET bottles with return gifts including the distribution of biodegradable cloth bags.

  • The cloth bags had environment awareness messages on them, the bags were made in partnership with Kudumbasree- the largest women self-help group in the world.

  • Hindustan Coca-Cola collaborated with Travancore Devaswom Board and Sabarimala Sanitation Society to place 200 PET collection bins that prevented litter.

  • There were awareness campaigns run to promote segregation of waste, in six languages.

  • 800 volunteers stepped in to maintain the hygiene and upkeep of the temple premises.

  • The effort by Coca-Cola proved to be just the catalyst that people wanted to bring about the change.

    Effects of Green Sabarimala Project

  • In 2016, more than 200,000 people pledged their allegiance to cleanliness over tradition, stating, “I won’t throw clothes in the Pamba. I will dispose it with the waste. “

  • The organisers suggested that there is early evidence of the waste dumped into river Pamba coming down.

  • The initiative is good for a start but still too little to sit back and relax.

What is Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited?

  • Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd is one of India’s largest FMCG manufacturing and distribution companies.

  • Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd is wholly-Owned Subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, USA

- Published/Last Modified on: February 4, 2018

Policy/Governance, Environment/Ecology

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