In an effort by Afroz Shah that was awarded by the UN, one of India's dirtiest beaches has gone through a drastic transformation. The largest of it’s kind on a global scale in fact. The young environmentalist began his mission shortly after moving into his new apartment and realizing the deadly amount of trash spread across the Versova shoreline. Only Shah and his neighbor began cleaning the beach in 2015. However, they were soon joined by a large number of volunteers including Bollywood celebrities and local children. The group ended up collecting an incredible 3.5 million kilograms of trash in a little under two years.
Shah’s motivation was simply to keep his environment as clean as he would keep his home. The volunteers have additionally been planting coconut trees, and Shah is hoping to reverse the damage and return the beach to it’s initial state of being a beautiful coconut lagoon. This attempt has quickly gained online popularity and a huge supporting community of proud locals and praising public figures. Shah continues to regularly hold cleanup events and weekend projects to keep the efforts going strong.
Mumbai Marine conservationist Pradip Patade has mentioned that the main cause for all the trash on that particular beach was the direction of the wind. The wind would push trash from all the surrounding slums and land them on the on shoreline leaving the unpopular beach at the time very dirty and deadly to the majority of ecosystems living there.
On a positive note, the use of disposable plastics is now banned in New Delhi, leading the country’s effort to control the major waste problem.