When was the last time you saw a clean beach in Mumbai? You probably would have difficulty recalling it. How often have you heard of others or yourself complaining about low maintenance of the beaches? Very often. How often have we adverted conscious attention to this dimension of our duty as a responsible citizen? Not too often.
Unlike many of us is Mrs. Zsuzsanna Ferrao, a Hungarian woman married to a man of Indian origin. She is a doting mother to their two little children and lives in Vasai. They shared a significant tradition of enjoying themselves at the beach at least once in a week. However, the condition of Rangaon beach in Vasai left Zsuzsanna’s heart-stirring uneasily. She resolved to take it upon her to clean the beach along with her husband Lisbon Ferrao and two little kids. This small family started a mammoth task of cleaning up the beach with garbage bags in hand. They filled and filled the trash bags to their capacities and on the way back home dropped it into the trash bins. The news of her family soon spread like a fire on Facebook and they eventually saw a few people volunteering help.
Around the same time was a young, ambitious Doctor, Dr. Concesao D’costa who manifested feelings similar to that of Mrs. Zsuzsanna’s. Born and brought up in Vasai she recalls, “Beaches are very different from what I have seen merely ten years ago”. She felt a compelling need to do something for the beaches that she had spent her childhood playing in the clean water and building sand castles. She along with her fiance Mr. Rodney Calaco organized a cleanup drive at Bhuigaon Beach as an infant step towards a larger goal.
To expand its reach further, Dr. Concesao approached Mrs. Zsuzsanna and they both conceived an idea of starting a beach clean drive on a large scale. They have nursed this beautiful idea into a mature outcome, inviting an enormous number of people for the beach clean drive every Sunday at Bhuigaon beach. They arrange for gloves and garbage bags themselves and also get sponsored by a senior Doctor for other necessities. They have involved the Municipal Corporation in picking up the trash they collect and arranged six big dustbins with their help. Concesao’s fiance Rodney and Zsuzsanna’s husband Lisbon have been a constant support along with a set of regular and ardent volunteers.
These Women choose to sacrifice their Sundays for cleaning the beach for two hours in the evening. They seem to have an innate inclination towards the environment and they tie themselves to its core. The drive continues and will continue until they walk in to find a clean beach on some fortunate Sunday. TPI salutes these women efforts towards Swach Bharat