A senior consultant neurosurgeon, Dr Arun Oommen turned a source of inspiration to many for his vision to clean up Kochi's roads and open dumping yards. He started a campaign called 'Play Kochi Campaign', a citizen collective that is spearheading a movement to clean the roads.
This all began when Oommen responded to a question posted by Via Kochi on Instagram, a city-based content creation platform, about the change that one would like to see in the city.
In response, the doctor suggested converting the open dumping grounds into beautiful sitting areas with a scenic view by painting the walls, adding greenery, and a few benches to sit.
Intrigued by his reply, the page managers extended their support to bring Oomman's vision into reality. The page made a team of 24 people, including Via Kochi members and young volunteers aged between 15-30.
On March 20 and 21, the group cleaned a patch of land behind Udhaya Colony, Karithala in Ernakulam. The team removed posters on the wall, whitewashed, and repainted the 15-metre long wall.
The wall belonged to the telecommunications entity BSNL. The group took permission from the company before starting the work. After cleaning, the councillor arranged a disposal truck from the corporation to discard the waste, Arun told The New Indian Express.
"Honestly, it takes just a little effort to bring such initiatives to life," the media quoted Arun as saying. The 43-year-old plans to set up a scientific waste disposal mechanism for the colony with help from the corporation.
Oommen is a senior consultant at VPS Lakeshore Global Life Care Hospital. He specialises in neuro endoscopy and has worked in various super speciality centres. He is a regular participant in various TV health shows and a writer for multiple medical magazines.