For the last 97 weeks on every Sunday, With Them For Them (WTFT), a social working group of youth has been collecting waste from mangroves from the creeks in Navi Mumbai.
The group has already collected over a ton of waste, including plastics, expired medicines, masks, gloves, syringes, and bottles.
The group has the support of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre (CMBDC). They dispose of the collected waste scientifically.
For the last two years, these youngsters, known as mangrove soldiers, have been continuously visiting Vashi and Airoli creek and cleaning trash from mangroves. They say that the work is a challenging one, and without support from people, it’s not easy to keep it clean.
On Sunday November 20, 2022, they carried out the drive at sector 16 in Airoli and removed around 50 kg of wastes.
Ashish Sawant, the founder of WTFT, shared that some of the injections and medicines dumped have yet to expire. WTFT started the cleanup drive of mangroves in December 2020. “The NMMC sent garbage collection vehicles on Saturday and Sunday for us,” said Sawant.