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Politicians Step In To Assure Their Support After Afroz Shah Suspended The Versova Beach Cleanup After 109 Weeks

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis steps in to assure support to Afroz Shah and his volunteers and urged him to continue the clean-up drive at Versova. Afroz had suspended the world’s largest cleanup earlier this week

Politicians Step In To Assure Their Support After Afroz Shah Suspended The Versova Beach Cleanup After 109 weeks

New Delhi: Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis who met Afroz Shah at his residence assured him all the support from Government. He immediately called the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Mumbai police and asked them to assist Afroz Shah for his noble cause.

He also said detailed operations will be done to stop heckling of volunteers and added long-term planning is required and expressed interest in joining the campaign.

While on the other hand, Aditya Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena, who met Afroz Shah on Wednesday, on Twitter informed the netizens about his support for the cause, he added,

Requested Afroz Shah not to give up on the beach cleaning. 2 issues: law & order- will speak to Police. Also will have Shiv Sena- Yuva Sena members present to ensure those cleaning are safe.

In the next tweet he said,

Also met the Mayor @iamvmahadeshwar ji, along with @AfrozShah1 & team. Assured him that the existing BMC support will be expanded as per newly arisen requirements. BMC & citizens working in sync is a great boon for the city.

Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri said,

Want to assure @UNEP Head @ErikSolheim whom I first met when he mediated in Sri Lanka crisis that @AfrozShah1 & volunteers, not only have support from him & the intl community, but also of @MoHUA_India & millions of #swachhagrahis.

On his part Afroz has not made any official announcement on resuming the clean up. Speaking to NDTV on Wednesday evening Afroz said,

It sounds very positive when people say I am a success in what I am doing, but, the fact remains that I have failed, very miserably. When I started this cleanup 109 weeks back, I was very clear that there is lethargy in the system that the cleanup is not happening at the beach. I never wanted to crib about the problems, instead become part of solutions. But, when you are told you must leave the beach and when you are heckled to pick up the garbage, then that’s where I lose my battle, says Afroz Shah who announced his decision to stop the world’s largest beach cleanup at Versova on Sunday.

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

He went on to say,

Do you think it was easy for me to put out that tweet after 109 weeks when we have given our blood and our sweat? We are hard core lovers of our country; we are desh-bhakts to the core.

He further added,

As a lawyer I know police will file an FIR and arrest the people who are responsible, but, that’s not the solution to the problem. This is not what I was working on, I was working on to change the mindset of people towards littering.

From the time Afroz announced the suspension of the cleanup drive, support has come in from many quarters asking him not to give up.

Afroz started the clean up in Octiber 2015. Since then more than 9 million kilograms of trash have been collected from the 2.5 kilometre beach. In the 109 weeks that the clean up was on, Afroz’s initiative attracted hundreds of volunteers and also celebrities and politicians to lend him support. His efforts got praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), also decided to replicate Afroz Shah’s Versova Model for 13 other beaches across the country. Afroz has also been awarded the UN’s top environmental accolade — Champions of the Earth award.

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