‘Beach clean-up is a lot more fun given that all of us are doing it’
MANGALORE: Attired in starched whites, khakis and blues, the National Cadet Corps cadets and students – 700 in all – from various schools in and around the city, descended on the shores of Panambur beach near here on a sultry Saturday morning. They were not there on a picnic; but had come there with a purpose – to rid the beach of its accumulated filth and restore its pristine condition back. Two hours was all that they needed to do it.
Organised as part of the ‘Coastal Clean- up Day’, under the aegis of Coast Guard, the scenes on beaches at Panambur, the nearby Suratkal and Thannirbhavi, were played-out with clockwork precision. While Air Commodore Rajesh Rao, deputy director-general, NCC, took the lead at Suratkal, M.A. Bhaskar Achar, deputy chairman, New Mangalore Port Trust, rallied his troops on the Tannirbhavi beach.
Busy picking up discarded plastic bottles, empty foil wrappers of eatables, and other waste material deposited on the shore, I. Suryanarayana Bhat, student of Vidyadayinee High School, Suratkal, said: “We, friends, and families come to the beach often. While we do pick up waste and deposit it in the waste-bins, beach clean up is a lot more fun given that all of us are doing it on a large scale and able to clean larger area at one go.”
His classmate K. Nandakishore Mayya chips in: “Large number of tourists visit these beaches. The waste on the beach could easily make them unhappy and send out a wrong message to potential visitors. Instead, a clean beach will attract more people and the beaches in and around the district can become ideal tourist spots”.
Echoing the same sentiments was Deputy Commissioner M. Maheshwar Rao, who said: “If properly maintained, the beaches are bound to draw tourists – both local and outsiders, in large numbers”.
Commandant Manoj Badkar, Commander, Coast Guard Karnataka, observes that “Beach Clean -up” should not be a one-day activity, but a round-the-clock process. Beach Clean-up Day is observed world-wide on September 16 to mark a move by a Texan girl who picked up waste on the beach, some years ago.
The other Texans followed suit and gathered about 124 tonnes of waste littered along the 122-mile long coast there.
As Mangalore’s Panambur beach looked cleaner, it is wished the organisers used eco-friendly sacks to clean-up the mess instead of dark plastic garbage-bags.