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WATCH FULL EPISODE | Versova Mega-cleanup Halted; Can India Allow This?

Written By Abhishek Nair | Mumbai | Published:

Before-and-after pictures are a time-tested way to prove a point, whether they be for selling anti-baldness solutions, extolling the benefits of fat-free sandwiches or as a way to ascribe magical powers to anything sold on teleshopping networks. However, there's one specific case, originating from Mumbai, that lends itself better to the before-after template than perhaps anything else. 

Versova beach, a 2.7 km stretch along one of Mumbai's most densely populated suburbs, should have been a jewel in the city's crown — a destination for people to enjoy endless space and indulge in beach-related activities which the megapolis sorely lacks. However, due to the accumulated filth of generations, it had become so polluted that it began to more closely resemble a sea of garbage rather than a sandy bank. 

That was before citizens took matters into their own hands. Led by lawyer Afroz Shah a movement began in October 2015 and over the next 2 years, Versova beach was rid of thousands of tonnes of waste. The before-after pictures were mesmerising, as if a beach had been conjured to where a dump had previously lain.

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