This is a true story.
A common man from Mumbai, Afroz Shah, could not tolerate the uncleanliness
So, he decided to clean the entire beach himself
So he began to scrub and continued cleaning until the whole beach was spotless
And this became the world’s most significant beach clean up in history
Come, let us know how he managed to achieve this feat
and how you too can do it
Reporter: Afroz, how did you start this?
What was the day when you decided to start?
Afroz: Are you trying to ask whether it was a good or a bad day?
I bought a flat here. Earlier, I used to live in Bandra previously, which was a little more of central Mumbai.
So, when I was buying the flat, I was brought here by the estate agent.
When I looked outside the window, I saw a bizarre scenario on the beach.
Trash heaps as high as 5 – 5.5 feet, besides the sea, spread out for kilometers
It looked akin to a dump yard.
For four to five months, I wondered how to start.
Being a lawyer, I thought about filing a petition in the court.
It would be easier to draft and argue. And point it out to the judge and invite the Chief justice.
But then I realized I too could do what the court order could.
In October 2015, I spoke to an 85-year-old man in my building, Mr. Mathur and he agreed to join me.
On the first day, we picked up five bags. I was thrilled the journey that had finally started.
It had to start someday!
We’re presently at Danapani beach where beach cleaning is currently ongoing.
As you can see, beach cleaning involves digging tunnels with the use of machines.
People then individually pick out plastic wrappers and whatever trash is visible and put them in these baskets.
First of all, if this is thrown away(as trash), but when you pick it up, you realize this is barely two grams.
The value of two grams is not even five paise.
So, why would a rag picker want to pick it up?
The ragpicker would pick that up.
The bottles. Their weight is approximately 20-25 grams and would earn 17 Rupees for a kilogram.
Easy to pick up. Good value.
Reporter: How did Other People Join you?
Later, I realized I wouldn’t be able to do this alone.
I needed to amass people. How should I do that?
I wasn’t a political leader. I couldn’t take out rallies.
Then, I decided to utilize Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy
As a constitutional student, I observed that he spoke lovingly to the people and won hearts.
Hate is so rampant in today’s world.
Social media is replete with abuses. Is this a solution?
Had that been a solution, we’d have abused too.
I decided to request people lovingly over the topic of trash
So, I finally began my journey
I remember the first day I went to the fishermen colony; they were surprised to see me at 9 in the night.
I knocked at their doors without having any prior interactions.
They asked me who “I “was
I still remember that guy, Rajan from the fisherman colony.
I self-invited myself to tea with him.
We sat together, and I told him about all of this. He agreed to participate and ponder upon it.
We amassed people with the help of the language of love.
I invited people to dinner and lunch at my place on weekends
This goes on even today
Anyone is invited to my home. I used to be a very private person earlier.
“The law states that the companies that produce these plastics will have to take them back.
This law is EPR (extended producer’s responsibility)”
This law, however, does not translate into reality.
Whenever you attempt beach cleaning, you’ll realize what items you eat and what things you throw out as trash
These are the same items you have to pick back up
Therefore, people should be more careful while consuming items sealed in such packaging.
The ones that get washed into the oceans launch a direct attack on the species
They are more dangerous.
The whales and sharks mistake it for food and ingest it
Once ingested, they’re unable to take the plastic out of their stomachs
It sometimes causes them to drown and die on the spot.
The ones that stay alive cause the plastic to enter into the bodies of those who eat them
The vinyl comes to our blood through the food chain
This poses a grave danger to the people who eat fish
There this issue of marine debris
and involves cleaning beaches and mangroves.
A lot of people ask me, “why do you do it?”
I reply, if not me, then who would do it?
A lot of people say, “you don’t do it, sir.”
The lawyers of my High court used to question me, “Afroz, what is this?”
“You’re a council in the Bombay High Court. Why do you pick up garbage?”
“Why do you train people? Why do you go into the toilets?”
How do I tell them this is a matter of love? You are ready for anything in love.
I’m sure if you’d be in a relationship, you’d be ready to make all kinds of adjustments for your companion.
This is a very romantic take on things!
This is the way I am!
source: “The interview is from youtube channel- Dhruv Rathee.”
It is a very Inspiring story and achievement by Afroz Shah.
“It is about action.”
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Thank you for reading the inspiring story of a true hero,” Afroz Shah.” If you also know such heroes, please email us
And also thanks for checking out our list of eco-friendly products
It is only a small fraction of the unique eco-friendly products that we have. If you would like to share or suggest your favorite eco-friendly products or have any questions, feel free to share with us using the comment section below.
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