Hundreds of students from various schools and colleges as well as those affiliated with different social organisations came to the rescue of the city shoreline this Ganeshotsav, holding cleanliness drives on various days of the festival to restore beaches left in disarray after the immersion of thousands of idols.
Rotary District 3140 got over 700 students from 12 different schools involved in cleaning up Girgaum Chowpatty yesterday under the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN). Such drives were also held at the beach on September 24, 26 and 29.
The activity was held in association with Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA).
Rotarian Bal Inamdar, the district governor of Rotary 3140, commended the efforts of CMCA in motivating students to take up beach-cleaning and said such activities helped inculcate civic sense among children.
Rotarian Nilesh Shah, the district chairman of RYPEN, who coordinated the activity, said children became aware about the need to use eco-friendly idols by taking part in such drives.
“The purpose of this activity was to make the students aware about environmental hazards and explain to them why eco-friendly idols are necessary,” Shah said. “It also inculcates civic sense among the children.”
Krishna Hegde, the Congress MLA from Vile Parle, carried out a similar drive with the help of 85 Podar School students at Juhu beach.
The beach was cleaned with the help of dumpers and JCBs yesterday. Over 60 truckloads of nirmalya and plastic bags were cleared from the beach. MP Gurudas Kamat and MLAs Baldev Khosa and Ashok Jadhav also took part in the drive.
“There were 125 Congress volunteers and 85 students from Podar School in Santacruz for the clean-up drive at Juhu beach held from 6.30 am to 11 am,” Hegde said. “The drive has been undertaken since eight years. Around 60 to 70 truckloads of nirmalaya were collected. When we first started this drive with (Congress leader) Priya Dutt, there were very few people who used to come to help, but now the awareness has spread among students and people to such an extent that we saw many come forward for it this time.”
Aksa, Marve Students of Oberoi International School conducted a clean-up drive at Aksa and Marve beaches in Malad (West) from 8 am to 10 am yesterday.
The students chose the day after the final Ganpati immersion to go about the drive since the beaches are in a highly disorderly state at this time.
Some 60 students from Std IX to XII along with their teachers participated in the drive.