Sometimes, when you’re scrolling the timeline of your Facebook account, through the tide of negativity and “sponsored” ads, you encounter powerful and emotional connections. The individual and events I’m writing about happened in 2015, but continue to carry on the hard work, despite the many hurdles and sometimes, setbacks.
Afroz Shah is an Indian lawyer from the city of Mumbai. He is the recipient of the 2016 United Nations Champion of the Earth, Inspiration and Action award as well as Indian of the year for 2017.
In the fall of 2015 Afroz realized that his favorite childhood beach, Versova beach, was being taken over by piles of decomposing waste that had washed up and completely overwhelmed the once beautiful coastal area. So, Afroz decided he was just going to start picking up trash himself, piece by piece. And he did.
With the initial help of a few volunteers, Afroz was on his way to leading what would become the largest beach cleanup initiative to date. His clean-up program has enlisted hundreds of volunteers that have cleaned up somewhere upwards of nine million kilograms of plastic and other waste.
Another absolutley amazing outcome from Afroz’s clean-up efforts is the return of the Olive Ridley turtles. It has been over 20 years since these turtles have been seen on Versova Beach. Incredible.
According to www.indianexpress.com on July 14, 2018 Afroz Shah, who has been cleaning the Versova beach over the last two years, said: “We have neglected our oceans and water bodies for far too long… it is the neglect that is showing in such a phenomena.”
You can follow Afroz at www.facebook.com/AfrozShahofficial/