Underwater Cleaning Drive

November 10, 2019

As you commute on your journey to Mapusa, you are greeted by an extensive billboard advertising for a famous hardware company advertising for a tap, with a slogan that screams, “Have you met water lately?”. The caption gets you on an introspective pandemonium as you begin to question the rhetorical question. Have we met water? Is the water that we sip to quench our thirst on a hot summer’s day the best, most pure out there? Most of us will scoff and shun the notion by saying, “Look, it’s just water. As long as it is clear and processed and is deficit of all impurities, we are good to go.” But let us rewind the clock by a couple of decades to the times of our grandfathers and their fathers. The time where children used to frolic around in glee and people used to go about doing their daily duties without masks around their noses, breathing clean, pollution-free air. The time where people used to sip the water from streams without the worry of waterborne diseases.

Goa is a tiny little state known worldwide for its culture and beauty. Every year millions of tourists visit it. Just about everyone heads down to the pristine beaches for some R & R. All of them, however, head back home with a look of disdain on their faces. The reason? Okay, reasons… Is there a limit to the ‘fons et origo’ of the problem? Sure, most of us will blame the tourists for extensive littering, but are there any garbage bins in close proximity for them to dispose of them? It’s not that we are pointing our fingers at the Government, but isn’t this kind of our fault as well? Had we all partaken in the rite of disposing of our garbage properly, things would surely be different.

But unseen to most people, there is another major threat that is building up under the surface. The sea claims the garbage that’s thrown on the shoreline as the tide goes in and then tends to sink underwater.
Most of the waste that we find on the sea bed is mostly beer bottles and cans, plastic bottles, nylon fishing nets, bottle caps, cigarette butts (yes, you will be surprised), plastic takeout containers, polythene bags, and chips packets. What about plastic straws, you ask? Already wreaking havoc by getting entangled in the noses of the turtles and maiming the fish. The volume of such non-degradable pollutants that you will find underwater is absolutely astonishing. According to NatGeo, around 80% of the garbage found underwater is land-based. The rest comes from shipwrecks, oil spills, and other debris.
But unfortunately, the garbage does not just settle down and stay put. The plastic gets shredded into ‘micro-plastic’ and is then ingested by the tiny life-form, who, in turn, are eaten by the larger organisms, ergo the fish, and the rest is a no-brainer.

Whatever happened to our state? Is this truly what we call progress? Is this development? Living in a dense, cramped up concrete jungle with absolutely no regard for anything apart from our selfish gains and losing the very thing that separates us humans from all the other species on our planet – Humanity. Aren’t we entitled to the task of safekeeping the planet for our future generations as our ancestors did it for us?

Hence, until our dearly elected Government decides to extemporize the problem at hand, we at Scuba Aliens have decided to take our own stand. We are organizing the first of its kind in India – the first-ever all year Underwater Garbage Cleanup Drive. All you need to do is head down to the docks to meet us, grab your gear, collect your mesh bag in the boat and you will be awarded with extra dive time for your effort in creating a Greener Future. Apart from the underwater cleanups, we will also be organizing various cleanup drives, one of which will be the neglected jetty of Nerul. Help us fight this monstrosity by playing your part. Remember, if time does not permit, you need not come down to get your hands dirty, just by adequately comprehending the 4 R’s of waste management, one can make an immense change to the environment.

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