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Banana-selling fundraiser to help those hit by Kerala's SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project

Thiruvananthapuram: Plantains planted by agitators as part of protest against the proposed SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project in Kerala are turning out to be a fundraiser to help those hit by the project.

As part of the stir against the rail project, the anti-rail action council had planted plantain trees across the state on last World Environment Day as a mark of protest against the ruling left-front MLAs who allegedly did not hear their plight.

As the trees produced bananas, the action council decided to make it a fundraiser to help those badly hit by the proposed project. Hence they decided to pool funds through an auctioning of the bananas.

In the first such fundraiser held in Thrissur district the other day, Rs. 60,250 was raised from banana bunch auctioning. The amount would be handed over to one Thankamma of Chenagannur in Alappuzha district who faced police action for laying demarcation stone at her one room house. The amount would be utilised for setting up a proper shelter for Thankamma, said the action council general convener S Rajeevan.

Rajeev said that similar events were planned at more places. “We had planted 99 plantain trees across Kerala as a mark of protest against the 99 MLAs of the ruling front. At many places the plantain trees produced bananas and hence such an initiative to help the victims of the rail project being initiated,” said Rajeev.

Kerala had earlier witnessed police using force against scores of people who staged protest against laying demarcation stones for the semi-high-speed rail project. The government later put the project on hold citing that the centre was yet to give a nod.

(Published 17 October 2023, 02:00 IST)

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