In his first address to the country, this year on 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, January 31, lauded a specially-abled man from Kerala for his efforts towards cleanliness.
In this month's episode of the radio programme, the Prime Minister said, "I have seen one more news from Kerala which reminds us of our responsibilities. There is a Divyang elderly person in Kerala's Kottayam, NS Rajappan. He is unable to walk due to paralysis. But his commitment towards cleanliness has not faded."
69-year-old Rajappan is paralysed below his knees. The physical disability, however, did not deter the man from living a life of dignity and conserving the environment. For the past several years, he rows his boat in the Vembanad lake and earns a living by collecting plastic bottles floating on the water body and streams connected to it.
"Taking inspiration from Rajappan ji, we too should, wherever possible, contribute to cleanliness," stated PM Modi.
According to The Hindu, the elderly man was elated to hear that the Prime Minister acknowledged his efforts. He was afflicted with polio at the age of five and has been paralysed since then. He visits the lakes in and around Kumarakom near Kerala's Kottayam on a boat to collect plastic every day.
On January 14 this year, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Erik Solheim had also shared a video on this changemaker, on social media, along with a request that 'we should make him famous'.