Lawyer-activist Afroz Shah has been trying to clear up the garbage off the Versova Beach for more than 2 years now. And after 109 weeks of mind-boggling leadership and activism, Shah has suspended the clean-up citing abusive goons and the government’s lack of cooperation.

Being an ocean-lover, Shah began the campaign all the way back in October 2015 and has reportedly removed more than 5 million kgs of trash from the beach. 

b’Source: Twitter’

Single-handedly inspiring change, Shah brought together responsible citizens from the area across all ages. Even celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan have taken part in the initiative. 

b’Source: Twitter’

Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio even shared this Instagram post about the amount of trash on one of Mumbai’s most stunning beaches, thanks to the clean-up initiative started by Shah.

b’Source: Twitter’

When contacted for a comment, Shah sounded awfully broken about the ground realities of the situation to continue his voluntary campaign. 

I’ve failed myself, and I’ve failed this country. We had begun this campaign against the mind-set of littering in public spaces. And if this kind of institutional lethargy is the feedback for the work of thousands of volunteers over 2 years, then I have failed as an individual.

he told ScoopWhoop, citing that municipal bodies had failed to do their job in the past few weeks. 

b’Image Source: Facebook/Lewis Pugh’

When asked about the goons, Shah said, 

It had been going on for the past 4-6 weeks, where some men would threaten our guy operating the JCB tractor with bamboo sticks, and hurling abuses at the others. If I and others like me are going to be heckled for something our voluntary efforts, then where are we going as a country?
b’Source: Twitter’

Will the suspension be revoked by him and other volunteers, considering that the government finally gets his act together, Shah says,

See, we’re ready to do the work. But for that to happen the lethargy and the mind-set would require a sea-change. As of now, the situation is fluid.

It’s difficult to imagine a situation where our country is even intolerant to volunteers. Maybe that’s why we don’t deserve anything/anyone nice.