After seeing his childhood beach devastated by trash, Mumbai lawyer Afroz Shah decided to take matters into his own hands. What started off as a personal mission, has turned into the largest beach cleanup in the world.Since 2015, Shah has been picking up trash for four hours every weekend. Today, with the help of volunteers, Versova beach has been cleared of more than 7 000 tons of garbage.
“There was 5.5 feet of plastic at the northern end of the beach. It had piled up, piled up, piled up. So then I said I must do something,” Shah explains.
Plenty of people have asked Shah why he doesn’t simply complain to the city about the problem.
“No,” he says. “This ocean is mine. I spent my childhood here. I have a special [connection] with this ocean,” he says. “Why should I wait for a government body to tell me what to do? All governments are bound to protect the environment. But as a human being, so am I.”