A few residents of Vasai managed to gather approximately 60 people on Sunday (June 5) to clean the Bhuigaon beach. “We go to this beach to play. One Sunday [May 29], we saw that the trash accumulated on the beach was way too much. It was so much that it couldn’t be ignored anymore. Nearly 20 of us got together and cleaned a patch in 15 minutes. We then realised that if we could make a difference in such little time, having more people would really help. That’s how the idea of the drive came about,” says Jonathan Lopes, a resident of Vasai. “The effort is to educate the masses to stop littering.”
People across all age groups took part in the cleanliness drive. “Most of them were aged between 18 and 24. But, there were also a few 12-year-olds and senior citizens,” says Vasai resident Venance Castelino, who initiated the drive with Lopes.
Ask them how they created a buzz around the initiative, and Lopes says, “We used social media. We created an event and shared it on our timelines. We announced it in the Sunday church as well.”
So, did the municipal authorities of the area take interest in the initiative? “After our first Sunday (May 29), we asked the local corporator to get dustbins installed near the beach. But our request was turned down for the reason being that the beach is too far. But they agreed to come collect the trash once a week,” says Castelino.
The drive will take place on three more Sundays (June 12, 19 and 26).