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As Afroz Shah Suspends ‘World’s Largest Beach Cleanup’ At Versova, #DontGiveUp Messages Pour In

Beach warrior Afroz Shah suspended the Versova beach cleanup after 109 weeks, alleging that goons were abusing and heckling the volunteers and the BMC was not picking up the garbage collected at the site. Twitter came out in support

Mumbai's Versova Beach Undergoes Drastic Makeover In Mega Clean Up Drive
Highlights
  • Afroz suspended the drive on Sunday; he announced his decision on Twitter
  • Afroz blames ‘abuse by goons’ & ‘administrative lethargy’ as a reason
  • Hardeep Singh Puri has assured Afroz of support from the authorities

New Delhi: The Versova beach cleanup that caught the world’s attention was suspended by its spearhead Afroz Shah on Sunday. Afroz’s decision comes after he and his fellow volunteers were allegedly heckled and abused by goons during their regular cleanup drives at Versova and refusal of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the past few weeks to collect the garbage cleaned up by the volunteers. He adds, “I am sorry, I give up. I started this mission because I wanted to change the mindset of the people towards littering. If we are being abused by the people for clearing up their mess, then I have failed miserably. Secondly, what’s the point of doing beach cleanup every Saturday and Sunday, because what garbage we are clearing from one end is getting piled up at the other end? How are we supposed to fix the administrative lethargy?”

Also ReadLittering Starts With Us, Spoiling Of Our Environment Starts From Us, It Is High Time We Own Up And Take Responsibility: Afroz Shah

Minutes after, Afroz Shah shared this news; support poured in from all quarters.

Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri urged Afroz Shah not to give up and assured all the support for his movement, he adds,

Deeply concerned about attack on @AfrozShah1 & his volunteers by criminal elements. Took this up with @CMOMaharashtra was assured that instructions had already been issued to municipal & @MumbaiPolice authorities to give all help. This service to the nation must go on.

Actor Randeep Hooda who has been continuously fighting for the swachh cause with Afroz Shah added,

When a citizen takes it upon himself to improve the country, is joined by thousands in a movement of change, @UNEP recognises him as a friend of the earth, prime minister @narendramodi acknowledges him in #MannKiBaat..he can still face such resistance??Its discouraging for us all.

Reiterating the same thoughts as Randeep Hooda, Author Kiran Manral said,

And when citizens take it on themselves to clean the city, they get harassed. Sad to read this. Afroz Shah suspends Versova clean up after 109 weeks.

Actor Ronit Roy assuring his support for the movement said,

Dear @AfrozShah1 don’t get disheartened by this event. What you’re doing is immensely greater than what these people can think of. Text me when you can talk. I’ll call you and we will Marshal our resources.

Actor Dia Mirza siad,

Don’t give up @AfrozShah1. You inspire a productive public participation that few in this country have achieved or can imagine to achieve. You have many compatriots. Especially children. With you always.

And there were more:

Beach warrior Afroz Shah started the beach cleanup journey at Versova back in 2015, since then, he has tirelessly cleaned up the beach every Saturday and Sunday for over 109 weeks. He and his volunteers have cleared approximately 9 million kilograms of trash from the Versova beach. The movement is one of the biggest citizen’s initiatives and for this Afroz has also been awarded the UN’s top environmental accolade — Champions of the Earth award. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has also decided to replicate Afroz Shah’s Versova Model for 13 other beaches across the country.

But, the irony is that Lawyer turned Swachh Activist Afroz Shah was forced to suspend the cleanup because of he feels he has not been able to get mindset of authorities and people to change towards littering and the need to protect the oceans.

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