A brave, frank, clean-hearted, courageous and aspiring youth is the only foundation on which the future nation can be built. – Swami Vivekananda
What would be the first thought that comes to your mind when I say a beach? The calmness of the cool breeze, the mystical sound of the waves, reviving childhood memories by building sandcastles, or will it be the cold water brushing right through your feet? Maybe this thought has changed over time because every time I think about it all I can imagine is the plastic waste and trash all around it causing nothing but terrible odor and the sea throwing out more plastic giving back a taste of our own medicine!
But did we ever make a choice of stepping up and cleaning our own beaches and retaining its own beauty?
On the eve of National Youth Day on 11th January 2020, iVolunteer chose to do so with the assistance of a couple of more non-profit organizations and some sprightly eager young people of our nation.
National Youth Day is celebrated on 12th January which is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. On a chilly winter morning, the iVolunteer Mumbai team headed to Chaitya Bhoomi to celebrate National Youth Day along with a bunch of youths ready to clean the Dadar Beach. At the break of sunrise, we were all set to beautify it. We oriented them about the significance of the day and additionally told them about and the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to be taken care of during the activity. The registration began next, we gave them gloves and garbage bags and we were good to go. We had a diverse group of volunteers who joined the youngsters – siblings from a CA family, office going people to a young girl-gang soon-to-become doctors. All of us dedicatedly picked up trash from the shore of the beach.
It was a proud moment for us as we had the amazing athlete kids from KRISSH Sports Foundation join us to clean the beach and did it with utmost sincerity. These super kids have competed in various national and international competitions and made our nation proud. It was a cherry on the cake for them because by cleaning the beach they were ensuring that they kept the country clean. They also promised to keep doing activities for good wherever they would go for their sporting endeavors.
Next, we had the 50 youngsters from Bright Future come in with a lot of enthusiasm and vigor to the work by cleaning the shore. These youngsters were overly energetic and they took every necessary step of cleaning with massive enthusiasm and love for the beach. A young couple who had come to India met us amidst our action and got some information about the kind of work we were doing. As they comprehended our work, they likewise got a pack of gloves and found a good pace. It was exciting to see that they didn’t even have a second thought about their plans for the rest of the day and got straight to work.
We also had Dharma Bharathi Mission get 100 young volunteers from various different colleges. These young bright teenagers chose to utilize their day-off at college not to simply rest for an additional couple of hours but to mindfully chose to clean the seashore in the wake of National Youth Day. The orientation with them was fun as I remembered my old days at college where we loved doing some good work on our day-off from college.
This young lot quickly got the work of cleaning not just the beach but the rocks adjacent to it which are often ignored; they formed their own groups and started diligently working. As time passed the water began hitting the shores as it was time for high tide. We had a troublesome circumstance to emerge as the water had now arrived at our trash sacks kept to the shore and the main alternative left currently was to take the packs up the stones which were actually at a decent height. Without even thinking for a second these youngsters created a human chain horizontally across the rocks and passed on the garbage bags to reach the top. In no time all the bags reached a dry place above the rocks. It was truly mesmerizing to see the quick thinking of these students who took up the task of transferring the bags so quickly and very well succeeded in doing so!
The clean-up drive ended with a group photo and an incredibly “HIGH JOSH”. Reflecting back it made me think that if we just imagine only all the youth of the nation got together to clean and save all our beaches, we would be able to bring beaches of India to its real glory. As I reached home I felt happy to have cleaned the beach which was once the most popular destination for a family vacation, with such brilliant volunteers and organizations. I finally told Amma, “Chalo agle hafte beach par chalte hai, humari kuch purani yaadein taaza karte lete hai!” 😉