"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean," so said German writer, and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

And then there are people who make it a mission to keep the world a cleaner place - Dr Valarmathy Vaiyavari being one of them.

The ophthalmologist organises monthly beach clean-up missions to collect garbage littering beaches in Selangor, Kedah, and Penang, with a group of volunteers.

"Personally, I believe kindness is contagious, and people are often inspired by the compassion of others to do good as well.

"When passers-by observe what we are doing, they get motivated to follow suit, and when I started this project, a lot of my friends told me they were keen to take part," she was quoted telling The Star.

The clean-up initiative started in 2018, and has inspired many other individuals to start similar attempts in their own states.

One such person is a retired teacher called Madam Kim, who used to drive all the way down from Kedah to Selangor to join clean-up missions, and later started a similar initiative in Kedah.

According to Valarmathy, the clean-up work has also inspired locals, with traders on the beach throwing lesser litter, and even smokers joining in to collect cigarette butts thrown on the beach.

Besides cleaning up beaxches, Valarmathy also does other forms of charity work, such as offering health services to the needy, and donating secondhand books to school children.

She admits that juggling her hectic schedule as a doctor and her altrustic ventures is challenging, at times.

However, doing good deeds with a group of like-minded friends keeps her going, she said.

"Cleaning nature is a kind of therapy, and you always end up feeling good about yourself."


Source: The Star
Photo source: The Star, Dr Valarmathy Facebook