tide turners

Afroz Shah

When the young Indian lawyer and his 84-year-old friend reached the edge of one of Mumbai’s largest beaches, they stared out in disbelief at the vast blanket of rotting litter that had grown shin-deep in places.

Plastic bags, cement bags, glass bottles, pieces of clothing, shoes and other litter covered every inch of sand, turning the once-pristine coastline into a wasteland.

Undaunted by the herculean scale of the task, the unlikely duo – 33-year-old Afroz Shah and his octogenarian neighbor Harbanash Mathur – rolled up their shirt sleeves, walked down to the beach and began picking up trash. Thus started what has since mushroomed into the world’s largest ever beach clean-up.


October 2015

Week 1 of Versova Beach clean-up

August 2016

Lewis Pugh joins Afroz to clean up Versova beach

September 2016

Erik Solheim joins to clean up Versova beach

December 2016

Afroz is celebrated as Champion of the Earth

September 2017

The Versova Beach clean-up celebrates its hundredth week

June 2018

World Environment Day celebrations on Versova beach. India pledges to ban single-use plastic by 2022.

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