It was probably the toughest time for the people of Chennai towards the end of the year. But 2016 is beginning on a positive note. When I watched the movie ‘San Andreas’, the words spoken by Dwayne Johnson towards the end of the movie still echoes in my mind.
“What do we need to do now?”
That is what the common people did. Sadly, the government worked only to rebuild a few roads which were used by the Chief Minister for commuting. The rest was left to us. Many people joined hands, to save the city. But apart from all this, there is one man who inspired many people in the city, including me.
Peter Van Geit is a Belgian who came here to pursue his career. He later fell in love with the city and founded the Chennai Trekking Club (shortly known as CTC). While most ex-pats love to stay in a villa by the beach and live a luxurious life, this man chose to take a different road.
Peter, along with his team, braved shoulder-deep waters and rescued many people who were stranded during the floods. But what the team is doing after the calamity matters more. CTC still organizes clean up events in slums, beaches, parks and other public places. The movement is having such a positive effect that even the locals are teaming up to clean the city.
The disaster had been portrayed as a sad event by the media and most TV channels even played a weary tune to the background while reporting the incidents. Of course, it was sad. There was a great loss of life and property, but the city is now stronger than what it was before.
Peter was an inspiration to the youth of Chennai and he was also the mastermind behind many rescue efforts. Beyond all the problems that the city faced, there was still a positive vibe among the people.
We are doing what we need to do.
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