Goa has many tourists visiting every year and that inadvertently adds to the total amount of garbage produced in the state. There are several initiatives undertaken to control the garbage menace, and Noreen van Holstein in collaboration with Drishti Marine initiated the #TeraMeraBeach, a 150-day campaign against litter. NT BUZZ finds more about the Junk Jam session that will be held today at Baga Beach and garbage scenario on Goan beaches
SHERAS FERANDNES | NT BUZZ
The world is fighting against the garbage menace that is posing a threat to human existence. In this backdrop, several organisations and individuals have come together in Goa to battle against garbage. When Noreen van Holstine moved to Goa from Delhi, taking a conscious decision of living here she saw that the major problem with garbage is the litter you can see around.
Noreen initiated the 150-day campaign #TeraMeraBeach that started at the awareness and education level and tied up with Drishti Marine as they have a strong presence on the Goan beaches. “We made art installation along the beach where tourists would have to pick up garbage and tie it to the installation,” says Noreen.
To mark the successful run of the awareness campaign, Drishti Marine along with Taal Inc will conduct a junk jam session at the Baga beach on April 15 using instruments made out of waste. On Saturday a workshop was conducted by Taal Inc at MOG, Pilerne to make these instruments. “Instruments such as boomwhackers, percussion instruments, wind chimes and more were created using waste like pipes, coconut shells, glass bottles, cans,” says Noreen. Prior to Junk Jam session at 6 p.m. a beach cleanup drive will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and drum circle will be held from 5 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. Post the Junk Jam session with instruments made from waste there will be a jam session with musicians Varun Carvalho and Carlos Gonsalves.
CEO, Drishti Marine, Ravi Shankar says that garbage composition varies from season to season, weekends to weekdays and beach to beach along the coastline. “The garbage along the Baga and Calangute beaches comprise mainly of beer cans, snacks packets, tetra packs, and loads of cigarette boxes, bottle caps, straws and glass pieces,” says Ravi. He adds that 1500 dustbins have been deployed on the beaches and people are getting accustomed to using dustbins. “The dustbins are kept a little away from the waves and hence people sit in groups and leave the garbage where they sit. However, the trend is changing,” says Ravi.
Besides the litter on the beaches, inland waste such as household items and mangroves wood and debris flows along with the river water and mixes with sea water at Miramar. “We can find all sorts of household waste as well as wood debris that floats into the sea at the mouth of the river in Miramar. This further contaminates the sea water,” says Ravi adding that close to 60 per cent of the population visiting the beaches in South Goa are from 5 star hotels and are aware of the harm garbage is doing to the ecology. “On an average per day we collect 6 tonnes of waste per day, 1.2 tonnes is from South Goa while rest is from North Goa. Out of this 2 tonnes is from Calangute and Baga alone,” says Ravi.
Over the tourist seasons Goa becomes dirtier hence as part of the campaign the team spoke to tourists and collaborated with Drishti Marine as they have a strong presence on the beaches. “We wanted to approach the tourists in a positive way and hence we chose to stick to music. Music is positive and hence drum circle is a medium to communicate the message – Keep Goa Clean,” says Noreen adding that the general message is waste management.
With a ban on plastic use in the state Ravi reveals a change in trend. “The plastic ban is showing some reduction of plastic use on the beaches; however we need to keep driving the message home. It all depends on each person. Till then, every shop will want to facilitate their customer, but there is a change,” concludes Ravi.
(The Junk Jam session with instruments made of waste will be held on April 15 from 6 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. prior to which there will be a beach cleanup drive from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and drum circle from 5 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. The event is open to all.)