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23th May, 2017


I've lived across the road from Versova Beach since CB and I moved to Mumbai. For years, the beach has been virtually unusable because of exessive filth and litter . Sometime during August 2016 I came across a friend's post on my  FB newsfeed according to which a young lawyer named Afroz Shah had been working on cleaning up this beach for about 60 odd weeks. I got intrigued. I did some online research. More importantly, I decided to check out the beach for myself. I was stunned at the change that was clearly visible! 

After seeking him out on Facebook and observing his regular posts on the beach clean up, I decided to physically go looking for Afroz Shah on the beach one weekend in February 2017, and see what it felt like to volunteer for the clean up. Clearing out trash and plastic from a sandy beach is harder work than I'd imagined! Digging out plastic buried in and weighed down by wet sand is no cakewalk! It takes physical energy, time, some technique and a bit of getting used to! 

What I found absolutely amazing about the clean up gig was the crazy cross section of humanity involved in the work. Here were men, women, children and dogs, people from every economic, religious, professional, racial and geographical strata imagineable, leaving all petty differences behind and gathering on a filthy beach for a few hours with one single common aim - to clean up this stretch of sand. I think what kept me going back every  weekend I was in town and able to, was the sheer positive energy that surrounds the beach during this activity and the rare  and rapidly-vanishing slice of life that I get to witness here with my own eyes.  

I decided to make this song and video during my second clean up session.  I wanted to make this video as an insider, after having gained sufficient experience of working hands-on with the other volunteers, over a few weeks. CB saw my first weekend footage and decided to come along from the next time, to shoot.


The song is an attempt to very simply narrate the story of this clean up initiative, to provide some information about the consequences of allowing plastic to overrun our oceans, and to ask everyone who watches this post to step up and help out. Either at our beach for those who live nearby or wherever else looks feasible, even if for just a few hours a week. To try and turn the tide while there's still time.  Every little bit counts and adds up. I've seen this happen in front of me.


Song written, composed, performed and produced by Sawan Dutta

Last two lines of rap spoken by Afroz Shah

Video : C.B. Arun Kumar and Sawan Dutta


This video features Afroz Shah, the United Nations Champion of the Earth 2016, the Mumbai based lawyer who started this Beach Cleaning Initiative, and his team of volunteers and civic  workers present at Versova Beach between 5th March and 30th April 2017, on Weeks 73, 74, 78, 79, 80 and 81 of the beach clean up.  Seen working at the beach in the video are Mona Keshwani, Aman Keshwani, Amir Keshwani, Diesel ( their dog ), Omprakash Mandoliakar, Sumit Survase, Hkartik Singh, Yogesh Dixit, Ajay Awasthi, Padma Awasthi, Ali Khan, Claudia Barbara Tanna, Maulvi Atiqur Rahman Qasmi, Abu Bakr, Ammar, Fatima, Rohan Kotwalkar, Jay Shah, Sagar Desai, Kaisar Kazi, Enis, Simone, her dog Bruno, Tor Dahlstrom, Tomiko Dahlstrom, Sadiya Kazi, Meenakshi Pathak, Jatinder Jeetu Sharma, Elizza VJ, Kalpana Patel, Leena, Rajan Mishra, David Zuhlke, Maulvi Wasim Akram, Ananya, Dev Mavani, Anant Mavani, Rihansh, Akash Bharatan, Rachna Tak, Shefali Lakdawala, Rajesh Jain, Vishal, Albert VS, Meet Muchhala, Katha Mehta, Suleiman Lakdawala, Manohar Shetty, Kushal, Manoj Tuteja, Sahil Walsekar, Maria and her crew from BMC, Ashok, Hamid and the tractor and JCB crew from BMC, and some others whose names I'm still trying to identify! 


Across the road is Dirty Beach

Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty beach

It makes me stop in my tracks with a screech

Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty beach

Dirty Beach is full of plastic trash

The water looks like it will give my skin a rash

Then came a man, a young lawyer named Afroz,

What he has done, not everybody knows

He wore his glove and started cleaning Dirty Beach

He asked for help, from anyone he could reach

In 80 weeks they have achieved something drastic

They have removed 5000 tonnes of plastic! 

Dirty Beach, Dirty Beach, Clean up, Clean up, Clean up Dirty Beach

Dirty Beach, Dirty Beach, we must Clean up, Clean up, Clean up Dirty Beach

Man and machine, priest and punk

Working together to save this beach from junk

Down on their knees, the young and old get dirty

Nowhere in the world I have seen this kind of party! 

The boys and girls, they get all hot and sweaty

To clean up plastic stretching all the way to the jetty...

Dirty Beach, Dirty Beach, We must clean up clean up clean up clean up Dirty beach


The plastic is eaten by the fish

After it kill them it lands up on your dish

Everybody who loves Macher Jhol

Think about the rubbish hidden in your bowl


If you are a daughter, or son of a beach

Protect the water, and you must teach

Family and friends, what this is worth, 

For in the end, we share the earth

We say on Facebook, we say on Twitter

Respect the planet, please do not litter  



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