YOUNG WORLD

Cleaning up our coastline

In the name of tourism, beaches are becoming dump yards. Students participate in a beach cleanup initiative.

RAVIPRASAD KAMILA

ON A MISSION: Students in action at the beach...

ON A MISSION: Students in action at the beach...  

MANGALORE

Karnataka has a 300-kilometre-long coast with many beaches. Due to increased human activity, these beaches are now emerging as places to dump debris. It is a widely known fact that in the name of tourism, many beaches are becoming places to throw away plastic materials and eatables.

The 20th International Coastal Cleanup Day was observed on September 17. In India, the Indian Coast Guard coordinates the event every year with Ocean Conservancy, an international organisation which organises beach cleanup day globally.

Plastic, glass, metal, fishing net, wood, cigarette filters, waxed paper cups are generally found strewn on beaches. Such material will cause marine pollution besides affecting the health of tourists visiting beaches.

The Coast Guard District Headquarters No. 3 (Mangalore) in Karnataka ropes in students every year to participate in the beach cleanup day. Children are the future citizens. It is an attempt by the Coast Guard to make the future citizens understand the necessity to keep the coastline clean. It is easy to spread awareness on the need to maintain coastal cleanliness through students.

The Coast Guard personnel, along with representatives of voluntary organisations and students, took part in beach cleaning activity from Someshwar in the South to Gokarna in the North on September 17. Commandant S. K. Choudhury, Commander, Coast Guard, Karnataka, supervised the entire operation.

Ullal, Tannirbavi, Panambur, Surathkal, Kaup, Malpe, Bhatkal and Murudeshwar beaches were covered under the programme. The students of local schools took part in cleaning activities.

This year, approximately 2,450 NCC cadets and approximately 2,155 other students participated in cleaning the 59.1 kilometre long beach in different stretches from Someshwar to Gokarna. Those who cleaned the beaches collected 166.5 tons of debris from 10 beaches. Along with the students, about 78 voluntary organisations also pitched in with their efforts.

When the 10 beaches were cleaned up in the State last year (2004), the Coast Guard had collected 188 tons of debris on a single day. This is an indication of the volume of pollution of the beaches in the State, said Commandant Choudhury.

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