100 students from Class 8-10 of Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Borivali, together with Rector, Fr. Solomon Rapol, Principal – Fr. Flovi D’Souza, 15 teachers, a few parents and 10 members of the Don Bosco Alumni Unit participated enthusiastically in a Beach Clean-Up drive at Gorai Beach on the 22nd of September, 2018 in an attempt to create an awareness and take a small step towards cleaning up the ocean. The Sarpanch of Gorai, Mr. Rossi D’Souza and the Vice-Sarpanch of Gorai, Mr.Royston Goudinho also participated in the event.

This beach clean-up drive was the third in a series of activities conducted as part of the ‘Greenline’ project for the year to sensitise the students about the need to protect our oceans. On the 31st of July, a group of 20 students from the Nature Club visited a fishing village in Gorai and interacted with the local fishermen on a boat in Gorai creek. This visit enabled them to learn a lot about marine biodiversity, the ecosystem in Mumbai’s oceans and the threats and ill-effects of plastic on the marine ecosystem from the fishermen themselves.

This was followed by the first Beach clean-up activity at Gorai Beach on the 1st of September at Gorai Beach, in which about 65 students from the Nature Club, the Science Club and the Scouts participated enthusiastically and saw the disastrous effects of the ocean being infested by plastic and garbage first hand. It was a real eye-opener for all our students, who realised how all the garbage we throw away finally makes its way to the oceans. Mst. Jeremy Verghese, a student of Class 9 said, “Around 90% of the plastic we collected were milk bags. It was a real task trying to pull things out as a number of things were buried deep in the sand. Little things make a big difference. We hope we have been able to do that.”

The third activity conducted on the 22nd of September was a follow-up of the above activity and enabled other members of the Don Bosco family to join the students in their unique endeavour to save our beaches and our oceans. Officers from Solid Waste Management (SWM) and workers from the BMC also joined the children and assisted them in their effort during both the Beach-Clean up drives. “We couldn’t clean the entire beach but we created an awareness in the minds of the villagers,” said Mst. Arin Weling, a student of Class 9. He added, “We realised how it takes only a fraction of a second to throw out garbage but picking it up and cleaning the beach would require lots and lots of time and effort over a prolonged period of time. We hope our school will be able to come here more often to do our part.”

Ms. Savlee Desai, one of the teacher’s co-ordinating the event said, “The students were shocked at the sight and large amount of garbage buried in the sand on the beach. They realised that all of us together are responsible for the mess that we have generated. Nothing changes in a day and I know that it will take a lot of time but I am very happy that we are doing this and I appreciate the fact that our students have taken up this small initiative to try and bring about a positive change in the world.”