New Delhi: “Dear Mother nature, 2018 gave us 365 days and we worked hard for 175 days to love you. 2018 gave us 8760 hours and out of that we worked hard for 654 hours to love you. Our score card for 2018 can be described as ‘A year full of action to bond with nature. This is our happiness’. Forgive us if we haven’t loved you enough,” said lawyer-turned-environmentalist from Mumbai Afroz Shah in his post as he bid adieu to another successful year of cleaning India’s beaches from garbage and plastic waste.
Highlighting the work he and his team have done in 2018, Beach Warrior Afroz Shah shared a scorecard with the netizens. Some of the achievements highlighted were:
– 8.2 million kg of plastic and filth has been removed from the ocean and river in the year 2018
– In last 3 and half years, 20.6 million kg plastic and garbage has been removed, thanks to the various clean-ups with which Afroz Shah and his team of volunteers have been associated with, mainly Versova Beach and Mithi River clean-up, which Afroz Shah kick-started recently after meeting the goal of clean-up Versova Beach
– In 2018, the team dedicated 175 days and 654 hours for the clean-up activities
View Afroz Shah’s Post
Dear Mother nature ,
2018 gave us 365 days – we worked hard for 175 days to love you .
2018 gave us 8760 hrs – we worked hard for 654 hrs to love you.
Our bit. pic.twitter.com/wQ7MvqUOpo
— Afroz shah (@AfrozShah1) January 1, 2019
The warrior signed off with a request, he urged,
We did all this in last one year. You could do it too. Only hard work can help us protect and nurture our mother nature. Let’s change our habits and protect the planet.
Afroz’s New Year’s message got thumbs up from many on social media, some thanked the warrior for his efforts, while for some it was an inspirational message that motivated them to work towards the environment.
This man is a HERO. https://t.co/n9VH0VfUBW
— Pawan Kumar (@pawan_jetty) January 1, 2019
Varanasi, are you seeing this? Let's follow Afroz's example to clean Ganga! https://t.co/DYOaBAI5bV
— Irfan Ahmed Khan (@Khansahib_bhu) January 1, 2019
Thank you for your commitment and tenacity. You didn’t just clean a beach, you’ve reincarnated my childhood memory. I wish I had had your commitment to stay and pick up plastic instead of walking away to cleaner beaches. You’re a true patriot of India and our planet @AfrozShah1 https://t.co/mFMc6LXMys
— Kusum Kanwar (@KanwarKusum) January 1, 2019
Forget about Bollywood stars & sundry cronies, if anybody deserves a Bharat Ratna and full state support, it's this guy. https://t.co/7FUxftCqd1
— That wicked thing you do.. (@ZeHarpreet) January 2, 2019
— Jaya rathore (@jaya_rathor) January 2, 2019
Endlessly inspired, and amazed by this man, @AfrozShah1 and all the incredible people working on rehabilitation and restoration of @versovabeach @RiverMithi and the similar projects. https://t.co/swQ1rYrMAk
— Akash Bhalerao (@akashbhaleraoab) January 2, 2019
Champions of the Earth awardee embarked on a journey to remove tonnes of garbage and provide a litter-free beach – Versova to the citizens of Mumbai in the year 2015. After finishing 160 weeks of successful clean-up at Versova Beach, which is also known as world’s largest beach cleanup drive, with thousands of people contributing towards the cause, Afroz Shah on November 14 announced the new challenge to clean Mumbai’s longest river, Mithi. Along with cleaning the Mithi river in Powai, Afroz is also simultaneously working towards curbing plastic pollution from the Dani Paani beach in Malad.
So, just like Versova beach, Afroz and his volunteers are conducting a weekly cleanup drive on the weekends at both the locations – two hours (12 PM to 2PM) are dedicated on Saturday to clean the Dani Paani beach, while, four hours from 10am to 2pm on Sunday are dedicated towards cleaning Mithi river.
Afroz and his dedicated swachh efforts have also earned him appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi during the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s flagship initiative Swachhata Hi Seva, hailed the beach warrior and said,
My friend Afroz and his team have been diligently working towards cleanliness for a long time. We are proud of your efforts and hope you will continue to play a vital role in fulfilling Bapu’s dream of a Clean India.
Currently, Afroz Shah is aiming to replicate his Versova effort across all 19 beaches of Mumbai and the rest of the country. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has also decided to replicate Afroz Shah’s Versova Model for 13 other beaches across the country.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.