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A Lawyer’s Lone Effort Leads to the Clean-Up of Versova Beach 

Volunteers led by Lawyer Afroz Shah are dedicating two hours of their time every weekend

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Community workers, led by lawyer Afroz Shah, have decided to dedicate two hours of their time to clean up the waste washed up on Versova beach in Mumbai. In one of the largest volunteer driven clean-up, Afroz Shah claims that he moved to Mumbai to enjoy the beauty of the Arabian Sea, but could not see anything apart from heaps of garbage.

It began as a lone effort to make a difference two years ago, and this dedication by Afroz was lauded with support from many other volunteers from across the world, who decided to join him for two hours every weekend.

We have too many laws, too many policies, but less enforcement, so what we are actually doing is enforcing the law.
Afroz Shah, Lawyer

Government estimates suggest that each Indian generates about 0.5 kilograms of waste every day, which according to Nakul, Founder of New Delhi Rising, cannot be tackled by the government alone. He believes that effort is the cheapest way for the common man to make a difference, since it neither needs money, nor does it consume a lot of time.

The greatest problem for Chitra Mukherjee, Head of Programmes, Chintan Environmental Research and Action, lies in the fact that the majority of people in India are completely unaware of the enormity of this issue. She claims that it is disheartening how people do not realise that they are sitting on a ‘time bomb’.

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Whether it is larger places like Delhi and Bangalore, or Mumbai, or small places, the key is getting the citizens involved. The citizen has to realise that this is my waste, and nobody is going to take care of it but me.
Chitra Mukherjee, Head of Programmes, Chintan Environmental Research and Action

Afroz Shah has now vowed to expand his clean-up efforts throughout Mumbai, and hopes that more and more communities will get involved to make a difference.

Video Producer: Anmol Saini

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta

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