Campaign begins to clean 75 sea beaches for 75 days: Dr Jitendra

A ragpicker walking on a heap of garbage at a dumping ground during a beach clean-up drive by local environment preservation organization volunteers on the occasion of World Earth Day 2022, at the bank of Mithi river, in Mumbai. [Representational Image]
A ragpicker walking on a heap of garbage at a dumping ground during a beach clean-up drive by local environment preservation organization volunteers on the occasion of World Earth Day 2022, at the bank of Mithi river, in Mumbai. [Representational Image] File: ANI

Hyderabad: Beginning today, the Ministry of Earth Sciences,in collaboration with voluntary agencies, has launched a unique and the first-of-its-kind campaign to clean 75 sea beaches across the country for 75 days, commemorating Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav (AKAM).

This was disclosed here today by Union Minister of State (independent charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (independent charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra while briefing the media.

He said, “75 days' campaign will consist of renovation, rejuvenation and beautification of the sea beaches and the campaign will culminate on 17th of September, which happens to be “International Coastal Cleanup Day” and coincides with the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Dr Jitendra said, “India is blessed with the unique feature of having a coastline which is longer than 7000 kilometres and also includes some of the world’s largest beach areas like the Marine Beach, Chennai and some of the most tourism popular beaches like the Goa Beach.” This campaign, he said, would also be an extension of the Swachhata campaign, which was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He stated that India has a rich marine history. The marine activities were first mentioned in the Rigveda and references to the interrelationships of the ocean, sea and rivers can be found in the Indian Puranas. The diverse evidence from Indian socio-spiritual traditions, literature, poetry, sculpture, painting and from archaeology attest to the great marine traditions of India, he said.

“India's coastline of more than 7,500 km reflects our vast ocean resources. Most importantly, the Indian Ocean is the only ocean named after a country, that is, India,” the minister noted.

Reiterating Prime Minister Modi's concern, Dr Jitendra observed that in recent times, the plastic litter mostly from the land based activities, tourism and fishing reached the coast and ocean through rivers and different waterways, posing a serious threat to the marine ecosystem. “R&D efforts will be undertaken to collect scientific data and information on marine litter in various matrices, such as coastal waters, sediments, biota, and beaches,” he said.

Globally, "International Coastal CleanUp Day'' is celebrated on the third Saturday of September, every year.

This year on September 17, 2022, the Government of India along with other voluntary organisations, and the local society will run a cleanliness campaign "Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar" along India’s entire coastline.

This campaign will include the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Indian Coast Guard, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) along with other social organisations and educational institutions.

This campaign will see massive public participation both physically and virtually, mainly to make awareness about reducing marine litter, minimal use of plastics, segregation at source and waste management.

“A mobile app “Eco Mitram” has been launched to spread awareness about the campaign and also for the common people for voluntary registration for the beach cleaning activity on September 17, 2022. Through this campaign, a mass behavioural change among the masses is intended by raising awareness about how plastic usage is destroying our marine life,” he informed.

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