CANSAN is essentially a social initiative to solidify the responsibility of keeping Alappuzha clean among school students from a young age, which will feed into the ward-level governance of canals. The organisation of CANSAN clubs will be at school level, and the long term goal of CANSAN is to promote ward-level local governance and ownership of Canal commons by the students itself.
july 6-7, 2019: cansan workshop
As part of CANSAN (Canal Sanitation), 150 students of 5 different schools across Alappuzha participated in a 2 day workshop organised on July 6 and 7. The school students were mentored by a team of 19 BSc Chemistry students from the colleges in and around Alappuzha. During the workshop the students were introduced to the significance of water and the network of canals in Alleppey, and they also developed a preliminary canal rejuvenation plan in a participatory manner.
August – November 2019: CANSAN Suchitva campaign
Envisioned as a continuation of the projects already underway to rejuvenate the canals and clean the streets in the town, this project reinforced the duty of keeping the town and its environs clean in the mind of every family. After the CANSAN camp in July, it was recognised that school students are the best ambassadors of cleanliness.
This project reached out to them through 5 programs – Suchitva Quiz, Suchitva play, Suchitva song, Suchitva class and Suchitwa pledge.
- Suchitva Quiz – Happening at the class level, school level, and inter-school level, this quiz would start off by testing students from classes across Lower Primary (LP), Upper Primary (UP) and High School (HS) on common environmental issues. High scorers at each stage would be promoted to the next stage, leading up to the grand finale on October 2, with consolation prizes along the way.
- Suchitva Play – Students selected from each school would perform the play at all wards throughout Alappuzha Municipality, during the Onam holidays. The play is tailored to briefly convey cleanliness messages to the general public.
- Suchitva Song – The Suchitva song will take place on October 2, as a community event involving thousands of students in a public gathering.
- Suchitva class – The Suchitva class is a precursor to the Suchitva pledge, to inform the students about their civic duties as future citizens, and the importance of a clean city. Furthermore, it will empower the students to pass on these messages to their families. A Suchitva poster depicting the message was also distributed to the schools to be put up on common notice boards and each classroom.
- Suchitva pledge – The Suchitva pledge is a commitment – each household across Alappuzha resolving to dispose off their waste responsibly and not pollute their commons any further. By involving the students and schools and making this into a collaborative effort, the message of ‘Clean Homes, Clean Streets, Clean Canals and Clean City’ will achieve maximum spread.
The culmination of all of these events was on 26 November 2019, the citizens of Alappuzha took the Suchitva pledge – accepting cleanliness of their surroundings as an individual and civic duty, not merely a governmental responsibility.