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Mumbai: Hungarian national, locals come together to clean Vasai beaches

Mumbai city news: The group,now 50-strong, meets every Sunday and clear 250kg of trash in three hours

mumbai Updated: Jun 26, 2017 11:58 IST
Akash Sakaria
Akash Sakaria
HIndustan Times
Mumbai city news,trash,clean-up
Members of Clean Vasai Beaches collect trash at Bhuigaon beach. (HT photo)

Every Sunday, Hungarian national Zsuzsanna Ferrao visits Vasai beach with her husband and two children to clean it. She has been cleaning the beach since February. Ferrao is married to a Vasai resident.

She was soon joined by residents, who formed a group called ‘Clean Vasai Beaches’. The group collects more than 250 kilogram of waste in three hours every Sunday.

“I often saw kids playing with trash at the beach. So in February we decided to clear as much garbage as we could. We posted pictures and urged people to join us. We immediately got support,” said Ferrao.

Initially, 10 people joined the campaign and cleared 40 bags of trash every week. The group then approached Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC), which provided six temporary dustbins. The beach now has permanent dustbins.

Hungarian national Zsuzsanna Ferrao initiated the clean-up drive with her husband and two children in February. (HT photo)

Volunteers said more people are joining the clean-up drive daily.

“Starting with two people, we are now a group of 50. The initiative gained popularity through word-of-mouth publicity,” said Yash Marwah, a member of Clean Vasai Beaches. “A Swachh Bharat is possible, but only with the help of citizens. Photo ops won’t help.”

Another volunteer said Vasai beaches are a popular weekend destination, but visitors do not clean up after partying — especially liquor bottles.

“So many people visit the beach on a Sunday and most of them litter as we clean up. But there are a few who join us. However, this won’t deter us. We need to look after our beaches and the environment,” said group member Rahool Indulkar.

The group wants more volunteers to join the campaign, as it wants to make every beach in Vasai litter-free.

“To keep ourselves healthy, it is important to keep our surroundings and environment clean. We hope people support us in whichever way they can,” Ferrao said.

Kalpesh Sankhe, sanitary Inspector, VVCMC , said, “The citizen-led clean-up initiative is worth applauding. Treating waste at individual-level is one thing, but cleaning your surroundings to save the environment is something that needs to replicated across India. Also, we must learn from our mistakes.”

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 19:51 IST