Goa vs. Garbage…#TackleTrashTogether
The Forca Goa Foundation has three pillars; football, sustainability, and empowerment. The foundation hosts and organizes various activities around these three pillars. One of the foundation’s initiatives is organizing regular cleanups combined with sessions of waste management. An environmentalist described India’s garbage problem as a “ticking time bomb” that will ultimately bury the nation’ cities and towns unless its 1.3 billion people stop littering at will. Through regular cleanups, the foundation aims to inspire and empower communities, children and other stakeholders to stop littering, consume consciously, recycle and conserve their environment.
On the 16th of January, the foundation organized two cleanups with the children from their grassroots football development programme. The first clean up was in the area leading to Coco beach in Nerul. The place had a lot of waste strewn around, there were chip packets, plastic bags, empty bottles – glass and plastic.
On getting there, the children had had a short briefing session with Jill Ferguson, the director of Forca Goa Foundation. Jill explained to them the importance of keeping the environment clean and the need to take ownership of the future of our state.
The children were handed out garbage bags and rubber gloves before they began. It was a really inspiring site, a group of 45 children and adults cleaning up all kinds of waste. What was surprising was that the restaurant and shop owners from the area said that in all these years, they had never witnessed a clean up in the area. They were grateful to the children and said that they would play a more active role in helping to reduce the amount of garbage that is strewn around. This gave the team great joy as one of the motives behind doing the clean up was to develop a sense of awareness and ownership amongst the community. The clean-up lasted almost two hours, with the place looking spotless and plastic free.
The second clean up was at the foundation’s center at the Assagao Union School. Here, the children cleaned up the area in and around the school, and although it didn’t seem like there was a lot of garbage, the kids came back with around 20 large bags full of garbage. Post the clean-up, Jill explained to the students the importance of segregating waste, the school already had dustbins for different types of wastes and these were used to have a practical demonstration of segregation.
Goa’s garbage problem is growing and it is up to each one of us to step up and do what we can, in our own little way to make a positive difference.