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Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on January 14th 2020
Afroz Shah: Since 2015 he and other volunteers have removed 60 million pounds of garbage from India's beaches

Afroz Shah
Afroz Shah
Photo: cnn.com

As a child Afroz and many other children used to play on beautiful Versova Beach in Mumbai. But when he returned as an adult nearly five years ago, what he saw sickened him.

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A 5-and-a-half foot-thick pile of garbage, primarily plastics, covered the beach.

Afroz knew he had to do something about this and he and his 84-year-old neighbor began simply. Each weekend, they would collect some garbage and bring it to a recycling center.

At first it seemed an impossible task for what difference could two people make?

But as the weekends passed more and more volunteers joined them, to the point that now 20,000 volunteers are collecting and recycling this waste.

Versova Beach, perhaps the world's biggest beach cleanup is now far cleaner and maintained by this volunteer army.

Afroz Shah cleans up at Versova Beach
Afroz Shah cleans up at Versova Beach
Photo: firstpost.com

And they are also cleaning other Mumbai beaches and waterways.

In addition, they are educating many villagers who live near these waterways and helping them to dispose of their garbage properly.

And Afroz is taking his cause to schools to encourage young people to get involved in solving this enormous global problem.


Young people get involved in cleanup
Photo: twitter.com

His ultimate mission? To save oceans and marine life everywhere from plastic pollution.

"This problem of pollution is created by us," Afroz told CNN. "If this huge ocean is in a problem, we'll have to rise up in huge numbers."

Editor's Note: To witness Afroz in action and to learn more, click here, here, here, and here.

Afroz is a CNN Hero.

In the next KazanToday: A 39-year-old Kurdish immigrant and New York pizza mini-mogul who was broke when he came to the U.S. 19-years-ago.


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