An aged differently-abled man in Kerala eking out a living by collecting plastic bottles abandoned on the famed Vembanad lake received a pat on the back from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was during his 'Mann Ki Baat' address to the nation on Sunday that Modi appreciated M S Rajappan, a native of Manjadikari in Kottayam district for his commitment.
Rajappan's plight got highlighted recently and it was trending on social media. While he was only getting around Rs 12 per kilogram of plastic bottles, the service he was doing to the environment is considered as priceless as littering of plastic and waste on the water bodies has been an aggravating environmental hazard.
With both legs paralysed, Rajappan moves around using his hands. But challenging the deformity he rows on a country boat through the Vembanad Lake, which is the largest lake in the state and even the longest one in the country, picks the plastic bottles abandoned mainly by tourists. At least a sack of plastic bottles was required to weight a couple of kilograms and hence his earning is very meagre.
Rajappan, who is around 70, says that people used to sympathise when he used to enter the boat with his paralysed legs. But he was now used to it as he has been doing it from childhood days.
Rajappan, who has been living in a pitiable condition, is hopeful of getting some assistance from the government as his plight has been noted by the Prime Minister himself.