Thursday 3 October 2019

Ecology Class Year 2: The Dark Side of Electricity

Do you know where electricity comes from? Well, it is generated from coal in power plants. But where are the power plants located? They are located in north of Chennai where green villages and blue water bodies are found. But now people from central Chennai are using these people’s lands and the beautiful water bodies to build power plants to generate electricity that will be given to people from Central Chennai and not the villagers even though it’s their land.

So today we went to learn about the power plants and the people’s lives. When we entered the area, there was a strong difference in the air we breathed. It was more smoky and unnatural. It was most likely because of the power plants.  A while later we stopped and went to this empty piece of land with only one tree. Over thee we discussed the plan for today with a help of a map. After some time of chatter, one of the educators pointed to a tall structure and said that it used to be a coal power plant but it got shut down for various reasons.
After that we went to this bridge from where we saw a large grey polluted water body. There were people fishing for bait to sell and make a living. The polluted water looked so contaminated. To see it was really disheartening. Then we walked a little further and saw the power plants which were causing this pollution. 
After some time, we went to this place where so many pipes were spotted.  One of the educators told that the purpose of these pipes is to let out used ashes mixed in steaming water. They also said that if one of the popes is broken, the factory people would wrap a plastic paper around it and put a rock around it so that it doesn’t fly. It seems that the area used to be a nice green land where people lived but now it’s just a place with small puddles of contaminated water.  If a child plays there every day, it is most likely s/he will get asthma. 
The next stop was a beach where there was a man who was fishing with his hands. He had a basket for him to keep the fish in as soon as he caught one. The educators told us that is very hard to catch a fish here and the fisherman only gets Rs. 300-500/- per month. 
After what we were free to collect shells. After various shells were collected, the educators told us that some locals have to collect shells and fill 60 bamboo baskets for a job. They get only Rs. 600/- After all the shell collecting we went to a nice shady calm area. We were told that all the trees over there will be chopped down for making another power plant. This was a disheartening experience for me but it has motivated me to save electricity. 
- Rayya Shawar, Grade 7

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