27-07-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Government to emulate Versova volunteer’s model
The Centre has picked up Versova volunteer Afroz Shah’s model to clean up 13 beaches across the country. Shah was awarded UN's top environmental accolade — Champions of the Earth award — in Mexico last December. He is an advocate and beach crusader who transformed the filthy Versova beach into one of the cleanest beaches of the city.
Shah is responsible for steering the 500- strong Versova Resident Volunteers toward the task. Now the government is joining forces with Shah to replicate the effort at 13 beaches across the country and will follow the Versova model of a volunteer force coming together at the weekend for the clean -up job.
An environment ministry official said that the ministry has chosen 13 beaches for a clean-up programme and aims to achieve the Blue Flag accreditation which is awarded to beaches with high environmental and quality standards so that it will help bring international recognition to our beaches.
The official said that along with the institutional and legal framework this project also requires people’s support. The centre has earmarked Rs 75 crore for this project.
The clean-up project includes tackling the problem of open defecation at beaches, implementing waste-to-energy conversion plants at the seashore and incentivising garbage collection to create a livelihood income model for the poor and fishermen community living on the fringes of the beaches.
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