Initially Vivekananda Kendra-NARDEP (with Head quarter in Kanyakumari-More details can be got from: www.vivekanandakendra.org & www.vknardep.org ) had only wanted to renovate some 16 Holy Theerthams, as a living memorial for the 150th birth centenary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, at a cost of about Rs.1.5 Crores. But on seeing the good work being done by Kendra, both Sri.A.P.J.AbdulKalam, Ex-President of India (a native of Rameswaram, who does not want to come in front for various reasons, though he has promised his fullest support) urged Kendra to expand the scope to cover all aspects to make Rameswaram a Green-Pilgrimage or Eco-Pilgrimage Center.
As Rameswaram is an island of about only 50 square kilometers area, with ‘controllable’ access roads/points, “If we cannot clean up this 50 square kilometer island, what chance do we have of cleaning up India?” is the challenge thrown at all of us by Dr.A.P.J.AbdulKalam. Kendra is keen to clean up this important pilgrim center of India, as an example to other pilgrim centers to emulate. This project, which conserves nature and culture and serves humanity and Divine, deserves your active & enthusiastic support and participation.
‘Green Rameshwaram’ aims to bring clean environment, green technologies, cultural and natural resource conservation – and all these linked to creating increased livelihood opportunities and socio-economic development of the communities based in the ancient island town of Rameshwaram (in Tamil Nadu state of India), which attracts over 20 million visitors annually. Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India launched this project on 28-Jan-2014.
The Project covers many aspects such as:
01 Archeology and History
02 Solid waste management
03 Use of Renewable energy – mainly solar power
04 Production and sale of Rameswaram-centric gift articles
05 Water harvesting – inside the temple and in the island
06 Participatory Pilgrimage that will provide opportunities for pilgrims to participate in Eco-Projects
07 To educate the pilgrims on Nature in and around Rameswaram including Gulf of Mannar bio-diversity
07 Conserving Bio-Diversity
08 Greening of Rameswaram
09 Awareness Creation
10 Eco-Friendly Green transportation arrangements
11 Establishment of Multi Media Knowledge Center
12 Landscaping and beautification - Sculpture, paintings, photography etc.
14 To educate the pilgrims on the role the south east Asian coast line played in the evolution of humanity and to educate the pilgrims on the Cultural History of Rameswaram.