The heavily polluted Karamana river, which has literally turned into drainage canal, can, ironically, boast of moulding swimming champions who even took part in international events. However, the advantage is now lost as the river, having turned a dump yard, is no longer fit for swimming, leaving the swimmers in the lurch.
Creating a pool of trained swimmers is what the YMA Swimming Club at Thiruvallom has taken up for the past 50 years as a challenge. The club had embarked on the initiative to train children at a young age to mould them into champions. But now, the youngsters have no place to swim and the polluted river has reduced the number of club members to less than 100.