Versova beach was a dumping ground for rubbish and plastic, when Afroz Shah returned home, he actioned friends and family to clean it, the results are inspiring.
India (13 November 2018) – In 2015, Afroz Shah returned to Mumbai after studying to be a lawyer. He saw the state of his beloved beach and knew something had to be done.
Shah and his neighbour Harbansh Mathur (84), who has since passed away, couldn’t bear to look at the trash pile that was once the city’s Versova beach. The pair started cleaning up the beach themselves, one piece of rubbish at a time. They went back every single weekend to clean up.
Shah went into the city and started encouraging people to help him. He knocked on doors and approached businesses, educating them about plastic waste and how it was destroying the environment he held so dear as a child.
People started hearing him and joined his cause. It took 61 weeks to clear 80% of the beach where he grew up. He was voted as the UN Champion of the Earth in 2016.
Once the beach was mostly cleared, 80 Olive Ridley Turtles returned and started laying eggs on the clean beach. This was a first in 20 years!
The struggle isn’t over. They still face a massive challenge in educating the public. One great thing is that Shah has been able to educate the poor in India and shown them how to monetise plastic through recycling and other initiatives.
We last shared his story when he was on week 144… Now just 16 weeks later, the beach is compeltely back to its original state. Take a look at the before and after videos below.
To think, it took one man to start the project and the nation followed. The video will give you chills!
The miraculous journey to clean the beach and to get circular economy in our lives is depicted beautifully in this video – 3 years timeline.
All of us work together -Citizens, MCGM, Plastic producers, Elected representatives. Spellbound results.
Hence I move on. pic.twitter.com/xmKMeYDcHR
— Afroz shah (@AfrozShah1) November 11, 2018