We cannot do away with pens in our life and mostly we use plastic, throwaway pens. But we seldom think how it affects nature. Lakshmi Menon, who is into the making of ‘green pens’, has come up with a unique idea to bring this issue to the public. She started a campaign exhorting everyone to collect throwaway pens within two weeks and as a result, comes up a permanent installation—Pendrive — in Fort Kochi, where the Kochi Muziris Biennale is going on.
Colleges from the state have played a crucial part in this venture supported by the biennale. The students roamed around to collect pens and the whole task was an eye-opener for them. “We all agree that plastic vessels cause an adverse effect to nature. But most of us are not bothered about the damage plastic pens bring. It is equally dangerous. The negligence happens may be because the pen is small in size. The lead and ink in pens are enough to contaminate water,” says Lakshmi.
“College students have helped a lot. As of now, we have got 7 lakh pens for the installation. Among those, more than 35,000 pens were contributed by students of MA College, Kothamangalam,” she adds. The students of the Dept of Zoology, St Xavier’s College, Aluva, collected 5,000 pens. Lakshmi Devi, who is faculty of the dept, says, “Our students put boxes in college and nearby schools to collect pens. We have chosen it as it is an environment-related activity.”
The installation Pendrive is a reminder to all, says Lakshmi. “It intends to show the scary side of the phenomenon. It should encourage people to go back to the times when we used to refill the pen.”