Navi Mumbai: Environment Life Foundation Marks 200th Week Of Mangroves Clean-Up Drive, Mobilizing 60,000 Volunteers

Navi Mumbai: Environment Life Foundation Marks 200th Week Of Mangroves Clean-Up Drive, Mobilizing 60,000 Volunteers

Dharmesh Barai, a resident of Nerul, who had shifted from Kamothe in 2020 had visited Shiv Temple at Karave jetty and found it painful to see the sight of the mangroves around the temple surrounded by waste.

Raina AssainarUpdated: Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:02 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Environment Life Foundation Marks 200th Week Of Mangroves Clean-Up Drive, Mobilizing 60,000 Volunteers |

Navi Mumbai: What started has a small initiative by a 37 year old Nerul resident Dharmesh Barai, during lockdown with the help of four friends, has now gradually become a momentum among many Navi Mumbaikars with almost 60,000 people across the city joining in as volunteers in various mangrove clean-up drives.

Team Environment Life Foundation had their 200th Week of Mangroves Cleanup Drive on Sunday at Cidco proposed ground near Sarsole Jetty at Sec 6 in Nerul. Dharmesh Barai, a resident of Nerul, who had shifted from Kamothe in 2020 had visited Shiv Temple at Karave jetty and found it painful to see the sight of the mangroves around the temple surrounded by waste. That was the time when he decided to do something to clear this.

On August 15, 2020, Barai had his first drive with Rohan Bhosale, Shriram Shankar, Aman Gupta and Rahul Rahkar. Barari had started ‘The ‘Environment Life’ in 2008 as a college student and had taken up many plantation and waterfall clean up drives since then. But it was on August 2020, when ‘Mangrove soldiers’ of ‘Team Environment Life’ was initiated. Since then local citizens, NGOs corporates as well as government officials have taken part in this initiative.

On the drive that happened on Sunday, Sameer Wankhede (IRS) was the chief guest. After the drive, Wankhede posted on ‘X’ - As much as I believe in cleaning drugs from the society which is also a part of my duty, I believe that it is of vital importance to save our environment by extending a helping hand to clean and protect it. Was fortunate to be a part of the Mangroves Clean up drive! Mangroves Clean Up drive people are the unsung heroes in my eyes who persistently and relentless work for better environment for each one of us because they believe in the quote that “Environmental cleanliness begins with each individual desire to be clean!”

“The Environment Life Foundation is thrilled to celebrate the 200th week of our Mangroves Cleanup Drive in the presence of our Chief Guest, IRS Sameer Wankhede. Over the past 9 weeks, we successfully revived this area, removing approximately 10 tonnes of non-degradable trash with the help of 1300 dedicated participants in our 9-week challenge.” BArai said. For the 200th week cleaning, the team received around 250 volunteers. Since its inception in August 2020, the 60,000 volunteers have collectively removed more than 300 tons of non-degradable trash from mangroves in Navi Mumbai.

Barai alongwith his team of Mangrove Soldiers, take mangrove cleaning drives every Sunday between 7-10 am covering areas from Nerul to Kamothe. “Mangroves serve as crucial ecosystems that provide numerous benefits from acting as natural barriers against coastal erosion to serving as nurseries for marine species. The Mangroves Cleanup Drive is not just about removing trash; it's about raising awareness, fostering community involvement, and ensuring the long-term health of these vital ecosystems. We have also been actively involved in waterfall cleanup drives, railway track cleanliness activities, tree plantation and protection projects and various other environmental conservation campaigns across Maharashtra. On Week 191, the Mangrove Soldiers team pledged to clean a 2 acre patch by Week 200 at Near Sarsole Jetty, Palm Beach Road. After nine weeks of dedicated effort, a massive transformation is visible. The Foundation is grateful to all supporters who made this dream possible. Completing 200 weeks of nonstop mangrove cleanup drives is an incredible achievement for the team marking a significant step forward in their mission to achieve a clean ocean and thriving mangrove ecosystems,” he added.

In addition to the cleanup drives, the Foundation has also launched the #WalkBetweenMangroves initiative to educate the public about the beauty and biodiversity of mangroves and the critical role they play in our ecosystem. These efforts aim to inspire greater public participation for mangrove conservation.

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