Community Beach Clean Up
When you think of cleaning up a beach, the first thing that comes to your mind might not be “oh, that sounds like so much fun.” If I had to be absolutely honest, that would have been my reaction as well before coming to India and doing a weekly garbage cleanup in addition to the healthcare program. However it wasn’t the activity itself that made the experience fun. What made it fun was how it attracted people who wanted to help. Armed with straw bags we had managed to collect from various stores, homemade litter pickers and plastic gloves we made our way to the beach, where we were met with what seemed like an endless supply of old shoes, bottles and Styrofoam. Thankfully, when people realized we were there to clean up the beach the local community reached out to us and offered to help. Kids, teenagers, parents, even some grandparents, all walked up to us and did their best to help. Cleaning a beach is a task where there is always enough to do for an extra pair of hands. So naturally, we were very glad that people were so willing to get their hands dirty. The Municipality of Fort Kochi is also great help, since they agreed to pick up the collected trash from designated locations. Even people from the local newspaper appeared. I’m happy that we got the exposure we wanted for our beach cleaning project. What really mattered was that it mentioned that we will be going every week to do our best to clean up what could be a beautiful beach. I just hope that this motivates the local population to help and take some initiative to make their beach as clean as it should be. If anything, my experience cleaning the beach shows that the issue is not that people are not interested in cleaning up the beach, but rather that people need someone who can actually take an initiative and guide people in this lengthy process. It is at this point that I want to give a shout out to Jack Fellerman, a fellow volunteer and the one leading the clean-up project of the Mahatma Gandhi beach in Fort Kochi. If you follow the link below you can read about the efforts that have been done so far and future plans in more detail. The deadline for funding is the 19th of August, and assuming this is posted before the goal is reached or deadline expires, we would really appreciate any and all help you are willing to give. Thank you and have a great day. http://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/fort-kochi-india-clean-up-mahatma-gandhi-beach-nettoyer-la-plage-mahatma-gandhi -Nicolas Papaconstantiou
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