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A Paralyzed Man Was Cleaning Plastic From a River for Years Until He Went Viral, and His Life Changed Forever

Taking care of our environment seems like an impossible task, but it was never a problem for N.S. Rajappan. Despite being paralyzed from the waist down, he has been cleaning the river in his hometown for years. photographer happened to take a picture of him and posted it online, and it inspired other people to help in protecting our planet.

Bright Side was able to connect with the photographer, Nandu Ks, and learned how his picture of a modern-day hero was able to change both of their lives for the better.

People were throwing plastic bottles toward a man on a boat.

Nandu had just quit his engineering job and started to pursue his passion for photography. Equipped with only a rented camera, he started to look for interesting subjects. One day, he noticed an unusual scenario. He saw a man rowing a boat, collecting something from the river. As the man in the boat approached other people near the riverbank, they started throwing bottles near his boat. Nandu snapped a picture of the man, asked around, and was able to learn the man’s story.

Mr. Rajappan has been collecting plastic for years.

The man in the boat was N.S. Rajappan. He’s been unable to walk since he was young, but this didn’t stop him from completing his mission. Now, at the age of 69, he has been picking up plastic in the river for more than 5 years. After a long day of collecting plastic, he sells a boatload of it in exchange for $0.17. “Somebody should remove the waste from the water,” he stated in an interview.

His photos were posted online, and the response was overwhelming.

Nandu went to Rajappan and showed him the picture he took. Rajappan smiled at him in response, and at that moment, Nandu knew that photography was his real calling. Nandu then uploaded the pictures he took to social media. Soon enough, people noticed the pictures, and Rajappan’s story was even picked up by local news outlets.

Mr. Rajappan received help from a lot of people.

Mr. Rajappan’s work was even noticed by the Indian Prime Minister, and an outpour of moral support and assistance came Rajappan’s way. People have since given him a new motorboat, while others even offered to build him a new house. A company also gifted him a motorized wheelchair. Everyone was really happy for him.

Nandu and Mr. Rajappan remain good friends.

Nandu and Rajappan became friends since then. Nandu often visits Rajappan to share the latest news and videos of his story. Nandu has created social media accounts to pursue his dream of being a professional photographer. Rajappan, on the other hand, continues to collect plastic bottles using his new boat.

Do you know anyone as dedicated as Mr. Rajappan? What little things do you do to help our environment?

Preview photo credit nandu_promedia / Instagram
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