Around 150 cyclists from Bandra got together on Saturday morning to clean the Juhu beach. The cyclists started at 6.40am and pedalled for an hour to reach their destination. Students from the Matunga-based Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), members of the Bandra Cycling club, Palm Beach riders, C3 club, Mira-Bhayandar, Sharptune and several other citizens cleaned close to half-a-km of the Juhu beach stretch, as part of the Hindustan Times Clean My Mumbai initiative.
“A cyclist’s perspective is to go green, which is why cycling to the venue was a great way to start the clean-up,” said Vishal Sharma, founder of Bandra Cycling club and a co-organiser of the clean-up drive. “Juhu is an important tourist destination in Mumbai. If we respect our beach, outsiders will respect it too.”
Students at the ‘Clean my Mumbai’ initiative believe the civic body, which is generally held responsible for the beach, is not the only stakeholder.
“The garbage here goes deep into the sand. It was very difficult to remove the bottle caps, gutkha packets and other small objects,” said Akash Gondaliya, student of ICT. “No amount of time is enough to clean it. People who litter must become more aware of the damage it causes.”
Ankit Singh, a resident of Kalyan who left his house at 5.30am, to make it for the cleanliness drive, said, “After this clean-up, I have planned to go home and encourage people in my neighbourhood to carry out the same in our locality,” Singh said.
Joggers and walkers on the beach appreciated the initiative. Arti Das, 58, who is a regular at the beach, said, “This shows the awareness about cleanliness among public is increasing. It is not enough to just have open spaces, what really matters is the access to clean open spaces.”