There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Once considered to be one of Mumbai’s filthiest beaches, Versova has transformed into a spectacular stretch of sand and impeccable beauty; courtesy of a determined young environmentalist named Afroz Shah.
“I shifted to my new apartment two years back and saw plastic on the beach — it was 5.5 feet high. A man could drown in the plastic,” Shah told CNN. “I said I’m going to come on the field and do something. I have to protect my environment, and it requires ground action.”
While 33-year-old Shah originally began cleaning the beach in 2015 with the help of his 84-year-old neighbor, his plight has since drawn thousands of volunteers to assist in what the United Nations has dubbed the “world’s largest beach clean-up project.”
Politicians, Bollywood celebrities, local residents, slum-dwellers, schoolchildren, strangers, and friends were among the masses who participated in the 85-week beach cleanup which resulted in the removal of staggering 11 million pounds of trash. Reportedly most of the waste is due to the direction of the wind and the fact that the beach is surrounded by slums.