Hundreds of volunteers, including residents, celebrities and UN officials, came together to make the 2.5 km Versova beach stretch in Mumbai litter-free, in what is being touted as the biggest beach clean-up drive ever.
Among the UN officials who joined the drive was Eric Solheim, chief of United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and Lewis Pugh, the UN Patron of the Oceans.
“The people of Versova have shown us that no challenge is unsurmountable,” Pugh tweeted after the drive, mentioning that the activity was the biggest beach clean-up exercise in the world.
The idea was first floated by lawyer Afroz Shah and another Versova resident last year. They subsequently roped in civic authorities to help with the machinery and to get on board volunteers. Then, over 43 weeks, the team managed to clear 2.84 lakh kgs of litter from the stretch.
People from all walks of life joined in, including fishermen, mothers, representatives of the All India Plastic Manufacturers Association, the Koli Samaj, Andheri Bar Association lawyers, students from the Whistling Woods International Film and Television Institute and celebrities like Pooja Bhatt and Deepak Dobriyal.
The response was overwhelming, and so were the results. During the drive, UN Patron of the Oceans Pugh kept sharing updates on Facebook from Ground Zero.
According to Pugh's Facebook post, on August 7, they brought in bulldozers for the clean-up.
Before they started the volunteers had made a video of what the place looked like. Take a look.
And after 43 weeks, the result was mind-boggling and inspiring. Enough to inspire us to keep our surroundings, our country clean.
Kudos to the entire team!