Mumbai: Waste warriors save beaches, rivers and lakes from 15,000 kg of plastic trash
Posted By : Abhijeet Singh | Date : Apr 25 2022 6:41 AM
MUMBAI: Over 5,000 volunteers cleared nearly 15,000 kg of waste mainly containing plastic from across 17 water bodies including beaches and rivers in just two hours over the last three days (April 22 to 24), the country's biggest ever water bodies clean-up festival. Volunteers belonging to 50 plus organisations participated in the drive called 'Jallosh Clean Coasts that was led by Project Mumbai.
While the plastic waste will be recycled to make benches for civic schools and gardens, experts suggest that the drive has taken away a large chunk of plastic waste from fish species which have been found not only eating them but retaining them in their bodies, eventually harming a large section of Mumbaikars' health for whom the fish has been a staple.
"We were surprised to see a very large chunk of milk packets and tobacco gutkha sachets strewn all over which is not just difficult to clear off the sand eventually becoming a forced feed for fish which causes damage to the entire food chain. Its time we go back to the traditional way of buying milk from milkmen so that we do away with the milk packets too. Of course needless to say gutkha sale needs to be banned," said Priyanka Kulkarni, a medical student from HBT medical college and Cooper hospital.
Mumbaikars from citizen groups, children's and youth forums, corporates, non profit organisations, consuls, MCGM and state's Mangrove Foundation took part in this collaborative action plan.
Country's biggest ever water bodies clean-up festival by not for-profit Project Mumbai (www.projectmumbai.org) is already in the Limca Book of Records (edition 2020) for the largest volunteer public-private partnership drive for water bodies.
"The response to the jallosh was so very overwhelming that we have plans to now make it a monthly and eventually a fortnightly feature. Recently, concluded event showed how sensible Mumbaikars are for their city and its environment and reflected upon their readiness to respond to a call for action," said Shishir Joshi, CEO of Project Mumbai.
Drive was held at locations such as Wadala Mangroves, Dadar beach, Mahim, Mithi Mahim causeway, Bandra Chirrbai, Carter road Beach & Mangrove, Juhu Koliwada, Versova mangroves, Versova rock beach, Powal lake. Mithi- Andheri East, Aksa beach, Airoli Mangroves, Nerul Mangroves and Colaba beach.
Some of the organisations which had joined hands included Beach Please, Beach Warriors, Isha Foundation, The Shakti Plastic Industries, WWF Maharashtra, Carter Road Clean up, Young Environmentalists Program Trust, India for its Oceans, Control Print, Mumbai March, MCGM and Mangroves Foundation.