The pictures of Versova beach are going viral on social media and, for a change, this time the reason is a positive one as the Mumbai beach is now super clean.
Celebrities and citizens alike commended the clean-up and even pledged support.
Actor Ajay Devgn retweeted the photograph tweeted by advocate Afroz Shah, who had launched the beach clean mission in 2015, saying, “Cleanliness is a responsibility that belongs to all the citizens, One man can make a difference and this man has shown us how.”
On Sunday, Shah and 100-odd volunteers were back on the Mumbai beach with gloved hands and removed at least 20,000kg of embedded plastic trash and other litter in over two hours.
Versova beach, located in north-western Mumbai, was one of the dirtiest beaches of the city before the locals decided to clean up the filth.
In 85 weeks, the beach underwent a massive makeover – five million kilograms of plastic and filth was removed — with the help of India’s richest civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and citizens.
Unrecognisable at the first glance, the beach now looks much cleaner than before. Not just locals, but many actors and even a plastic association had contributed to this mammoth cleanathon.
Leading the effort is a 33-yeard-old lawyer from Bombay High Court. Afroz Shah, when not on duty, organises volunteer camps to clean the beach. After success with Versova, he plans to do the same with other beaches too.
On Saturday, into the 85th weekend of clean-up, a photograph taken by Versova volunteer Jaya Rathod sent to Shah to thank him for transforming the beach and tweeted by him notched a record over 12,000 likes and almost 6,000 retweets within 24 hours.
The tweet generated over 5.7 lakh views and 90,000 engagements, and also more than doubled Shah’s followers to over 3,000.
Actors Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Raveena Tandon, Pooja Bhatt, Rajat Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Karanvir Bohra and Ronit Roy retweeted as did minister of youth affairs and sports Vijay Goel and Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty.
“Exemplary and great deed by this young man. Hope others draw inspiration from Afroz. Bravo,” tweeted Goel, the first BJP minister to tweet about the clean-up.
Entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw in a retweet said, “Kudos to Afroz Shah, unleashing people power.”
Even the Oscar-winner actor Leonardo DiCaprio had shared a video on Shah’s work!