When Malhar Kalambe came back to his home town Mumbai after visiting Bali in 2017, the despicable state of the city’s beaches hit him right in the gut; and unlike most of us who only let out a sigh of disappointment at the dismal state of affairs in our country before moving on with our lives, Malhar felt responsible for the mess and took it upon himself to clean it.
On September 10, 2017, Malhar, a resident of Dadar, along with his friends, marched up to Mumbai’s Dadar beach to collect the garbage thrown by the visitors. What started as a weekend activity gradually turned into a full-fledged cleanup movement engaging over 20,000 Mumbaikars. Malhar is the founder of ‘Beach Please,’ an initiative started to remove trash from Dadar beach in Mumbai through weekly cleanup drives.
While this might be a huge commitment for most of us, for Malhar, it is a mission that is difficult but possible. The promise to work harder comes after he received the V-Award, an initiative by the United Nations Volunteers India. The award, supported by UNICEF, aims to celebrate young people, who are making the world a better place for all through their acts of volunteerism every day and everywhere.
It has been 87 weeks since the cleanup drive began and so far, close to 1000 tonnes of waste like plastic, stale food and religious offerings have been cleared from the beach.