“The garbage and pollution problem is one thing that Kovalam has to address,” says Gabriele Oelschlager.
German tourist Gabriele Oelschlager — during her usual stroll in Hawa beach of Kovalam in Kerala — found waste materials being washed ashore. Being an artist, she used those waste materials — ranging from parts of a fishing boat to plastic bottles and containers — to create art installations.
Being a frequent visitor to Kovalam for the last 25 years, she is now on a mission to set up a comprehensive waste treatment plan to end the garbage woes of Kovalam.
“Visiting Kovalam for all these years, I have seen the transformation of the place. I am a familiar face among the locals here. The garbage and pollution problem is one thing that Kovalam has to address. Rather than waiting for others to do it, the local community can do it themselves. I am ready to help them out in all possible ways,” Gabriele, who has an art studio in Berlin, told ANI.
From one of her students, she got to know about an incinerator for waste recycling and she feels that the technology is best suited for Kovalam.
“It is a thermal decomposition furnace that is eco-friendly. It’s a Korean-German technology. Once I go back to Germany, I am planning to work out ways as to how it can be set up in Kovalam to end the waste problems faced by tourists and also locals,” she said.
She feels that through community initiative, Kovalam can become a model beach in the country and abroad. “I am not a technical expert. So, I am planning to bring in a technical expert, who can do a presentation about it. We also have to get investors, something I will be working on once I reach Germany,” she added.
Yousuf, a Kovalam native who runs a restaurant, feels that such an initiative is a step in the right direction.
“A tourist making such efforts for Kovalam is really appreciative. The garbage menace is a real problem that Kovalam is facing. The local community here will welcome any project to end the garbage problem,” he said.