By Aleem Shaikh (Dadar)
After the success of the Versova beach clean-up driven by Mr. Afroz Shah, a common man inspired by him has come ahead and taken the ownership of cleaning the Dadar Chowpatty. Concerned with the alarming rise in global warming and the damage happening to the marine life due to the waste dumped into the sea, an initiative was taken by Mr. Chinu Kwatra, the Co-founder of an NGO “Aarna Foundation”, with the guidance of Mrs. Indu Mehta, a professor of Welingkar College. The NGO not only works for the welfare of the underprivileged children and women, but has also taken up the responsibility of cleaning and protecting the Dadar Beach & the marine species.
The Dadar beach clean-up project was started after the Ganesh Visarjan this year, as it is usually after this festival, tons of waste is thrown out by the sea on its shores, thus making the sight an unpleasant one. Also, looking at the damage caused to our marine life, the waste ought to be disposed in a better way. Hence, as a part of Swacchha Bharat Abhiyan, the NGO is working for the cleanliness of the beach. In its initial stages, the campaign was named as “Save the Ganesha” campaign, where the aim was to clear all the Ganesha idols thrown out on the shore the day after immersion. But as the awareness increased, the campaign got a huge support by corporates, localites, college students, visitors, and new people joining hands together almost every day. The campaign was then renamed to “Save the Beach” as the purpose of cleaning it was a long term goal for the team.
Mr. Kwatra says, “We started with only 3 people but in no time the team strength increased to almost 75 people. A big support was from M.C.G.M in the entire cleanliness drive”. He also thanks the staff of Hotel ITC Maratha, a Kandivali based software co.-Virtual Splat, the staff of Best Computer Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and the students of the model grooming academy-Cocoaberry Ministry of Talent for their help in the clean-up task. Along with them, some more helping hands were provided by the Rotaract club of King Circle-Matunga, passers-by, some social groups, NSS students of VPM College Mulund, students of Mithibhai College, Kirti College, and Ratnam College. Among the localites, there was a great contribution by Dr. Ajay Pandey and his friends, Mrs. Roopa and her team, Mr. Jay Sringarpure, who is also working on the same project at Dadar beach and of course his own team who continuously supported his dream of saving the beach. The drive also got support from Marathi actor Mr. Ankush Choudhary, who came forward and expressed his concern over the deteriorating state of the sea.
Thus, by working unconditionally for this noble cause, the team of Aarna Foundation showed us how important it is for us to come together as responsible citizens to save our own environment. The team is in its 10th week of the campaign and is determined to carry on the cleanliness work for many more months to come.
Team Aarna is looking for support from the readers for this cause. If you wish to volunteer/ sponsor for the same, please drop a message or WhatsApp on 09769181218.