Meet Malhar Kalambe who has cleaned over 1000 tons of trash
Most of us when witness the sight of garbage or other despicable places, sighing disappointment is all we had done. Blaming the municipal parties and cursing the locals for creating pollution is the new trend of India. Rarely do we come across stories that differentiate themselves from this growing ‘not giving a shit’ society. This is the story of Malhar Kalambe who along with his friends cleaned up over 1000 tons of trash from Mumbai beaches. This youngster is creating a trend that one must learn from! At the age where youth is seen chilling in the bars or rocking a vacation, this 21 year old is creating a history that may be seen common in your sight but undeniably inspiring on the other. But what inspired him to do so? Let’s check that out!
The story of Malhar Kalambe
His journey began when he came back to Mumbai after visiting Bali back in 2017. Malhar Kalambe was shocked to see tons of trash spread across a beach in Mumbai. The despicable beaches hit him and he decided to do something regarding it. Instead of asking help from the municipal corporations, the youngster took the responsibility onto himself. Malhar somehow felt accountable for the mess and decided to take it upon himself to clean it. The work started with the Dadar Beach which was of course the nearest from his residence. With the help of few friends they started cleaning up the trash and the waste littered by tourists and locals across the area. And this is exactly where the initiative ‘Beach Please’ started. Beach Please is Malhar’s cleanliness initiative of making our water bodies clean and free from waste. This interest several others, mostly the students, who later joined Malhar Kalambe as volunteers in his journey. After cleaning up the Dadar Beach, where they managed to clean up almost 360 tons of waste, the group decided to clean the Mithi River which was the source of Dadar Beach. Now, cleaning up the Mithi River was a task as it was clogged with domestic as well as industrial waste. But this challenge didn’t let his guards down and he began the second phase of his cleanup drive of cleaning up all the waste from the Mithi River.
“Looking at these oceans and beaches feels like someone has puked on them. Nature is so beautiful, we should protect It.” said Malhar Kalambe.
Now, the question is where did the funds came from? Malhar Kalambe funded gloves, masks and several other cleaning tools needed for the task all by himself but funding trucks to collect waste was something that worried the young man. Luck happened and a little support came from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai who gave him excavators and trucks to collect the waste. But what inspired us during this time was his dedication and commitment, despite being out of money the young CA aspirant never thought of turning back on the project! And just like this the Beach Please has managed to remove about 1000 tons of waste from the shores of Mumbai Beaches.
Apart from Beach Please, Malhar have an additional initiative called Murtidaan. According to Murtidaan, these young people clean up the idols found among the waste, colour them and then gift it either to the temples or to the individuals who are willing to accept. These idol are mostly not in a condition of restoring, but few among them needs minor fixing. During his time cleaning up the beaches, he had found around 40 idols but managed to fix only 18 out of it. Malhar has a heart of gold, his good towards the society doesn’t end with the beaches but the man also helps rescuing stray dogs and provide them with the needed treatment. Since last three years, he has adopted almost 9 stray dogs! Malhar Kalambe was recently awarded by the Volunteer For Change award by United Nations India, who recognizes youngsters responsible for a better India.
Beach Please is an initiative which was inspired by the ‘Zero Waste’ initiative of Japan created back in 2003. Kamikatsu a small town of Japan adapted Zero waste to clean up all the waste from the city. After this, the initiative became highly popular and was accepted in several other towns of Japan as well.
According to Malhar, in India, people don’t feel responsible or accountable for their natural resources and thus let it slide off believing it is the government’s responsibility to preserve these resources. And this is exactly what invites circumstances like global warming and alarming increase of pollution. On asking further, Malhar stated that he even aims to clean up the oceans once he completes cleaning up all the beaches. The young man, along with his fellow members, devotes most of his time cleaning up the beaches on every weekend and they hope that more people should come forward joining the cause.