With an aim to strengthen the Indo-Norway relations and combat serious problems of climate change and environmental pollution, Norway’s Minister of International Development Dag- Inge Ulstein visited India and participated in the Mithi river clean up drive with renowned environmental activist Afroz Shah.
Afroz Shah an environmental activist and the man behind conducting the World’s Largest Beach Clean Up Drive miraculously cleaned the Versova Beach has now shifted its focus and is now on an unstoppable mission to clean the Mithi River.
Dag-Inge Ulstein who was on a three-day tour to India also met Maharashtra’s Tourism & Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray and shared Norway’s agenda of sustainable development while showing concern and sharing solutions for city’s plastic waste management. He visited the banks of Mithi River in order to understand the areas which need concern and discussed cooperation between the two countries while sharing Norway’s experience in waste management and a plan of action in tackling environment issues.
The Mithi, flowing through the heart of Mumbai is India’s oldest river systems which meets the Arabian Sea at Mahim creek, starts at the Vihar and Powai lakes and passes through several areas of the city’s suburbs which today is reeked and ravaged in waste & garbage transforming itself into a narrow sewage.
Over decades the Mithi river has been abused and polluted, there are around 1,000 industrial units along the river, out of which most of them discharge their waste and pollutants into the water body, leaving a patch of the river covered in water hyacinth, plastic, silt and other waste.
The residents of slums adjacent to the Mithi River face serious problems of stagnation with mosquitoes breeding on the water body and spreading fear of deadly diseases. The Mithi becomes apathetic when flooded during monsoons leaving Mumbaikars in knee-deep toxic waste.
With Norway setting benchmark with its methods of waste management and efficient stormwater drainage system, they have now extended their supported in the Mithi river clean up project to develop a more holistic approach to the rising problems of plastic disposal.
Alongside, Norway’s Minister Ulstein and Environmentalist Afroz Shah participated in the clean up initiative along with city’s other environmentalists and local residents residing near the river.
The minister sat down along with his team and jointly addressed the students and residents who came to offer their help and support to this initiative and educated and spread awareness on the same.
The children went on to pick and collect garbage across the slums adjoining the Mithi River.
Speaking to NMTV, Norway’s International Development Minister Dag-Inge Ulstein shared the purpose of visit and his agenda of sustainable development and the goals to be achieved.
He went on to praise the efforts of environmentalist Afroz Shah, his team and the young minds of the city who took up the responsibility of making Mithi a healthy flowing river again and called out for more such ambassadors of nature to join this important work.
Calling it a mission to rejuvenate the Mithi River, Environmentalist Afroz Shah speaking to NMTV educated us about their mission, the aim of changing mindsets, creating a sense of belonging and shared the positive responses they’ve been receiving from the masses around.
The Indo- Norway cooperation to being connected through the waters in regards to the preservation of marine life and to tackle marine debris, Afroz Shah and the Norweigan Government aims to promote and spread awareness regarding garbage disposal and to establish healthy mindsets to treat mother nature.