#UNRC Shombi Sharp at Versova Beach Clean up
It really did not make a difference to me as to why there was so much plastic around here. Honestly, I did not feel anything about the issue, what it was or what it meant. There used to be plastic all over this beach. Starting from here to about 3-4 kilometers. The beach used to be our bathroom. Back then, we did not have any knowledge of the situation. We used to come to the beach and participate in the beach-clean ups but we still didn’t understand why we were doing it. We would show up, clean, and head back. People would say that this (Versova beach clean-up) would never happen, that it would be impossible. Even I thought the same. I thought they were crazy for doing something like this. This problem of plastic is not going to be solved by one individual. It has to be a collaborative effort. All of us will have to gang up together to make sure that this plastic pollution problem, especially in the marine environment, is mitigated. As I started picking up the trash from the beach such as plastic milk pouches, clothes, etc. I began to realize that I was picking up the very same trash that I was, myself, throwing away. From that day, I decided to change my mindset: I am not going to litter or throw any more garbage on the beach. I want to come here for a stroll, for peace. Earlier, the societies would never come down to the beach. Now, they have started coming down and participating in the beach clean-up at the ground level. Little children, school children have also started coming down here. Now, we don’t have plastic entering our homes. It’s such an honour to be here. This is really a part of a larger picture in which India is increasingly demonstrating its leadership at the global level. Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 launched a number of ambitious commitments, including the LIFE campaign where every individual person is making individual changes in their behaviour. Together, we can solve this triple planetary crisis. And no better place to be here than Maharashtra which is at the forefront of state-level ambitious targets. Children have now started coming here to play sports such as football and cricket. If you can change your own self, you can change the world.