Salem is one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu, India. More than 1 million people live here. Piyush Manush is the convener of the Salem Citizen's Forum (SCF). SCF is an informal group, involved in protecting Salem's environment. The lake was built by the British for irrigating nearby farmlands. The lake is spread across 58 acres and used to be a major water body of the city. But gradually it became a dumpsite for Salem's municipal solid waste. In 2010 SCF took over the work of cleaning the lake. But first, they had to get rid of the garbage and then desilt the waterbody.