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Garbage Pollution- The cancer of Mumbai
Mumbai is the city that aspires ardently to remain connected to the world. It is an important trade center as well the business hub of the State of Maharashtra. Mumbaikars are known for their warmth and live in harmony with diverse cultural and religious groups. The most unique attribute of the city is its strong immune system- it fights together with all its denizens courageously to combat every disaster that strikes it. However, in all its strife to achieve higher goals and accolades it has failed on one count- its garbage disposal.
The city of Mumbai is infested with a monumental task of garbage disposal. To realize the magnamity of this over growing cancer- the garbage in the city, the students of our local school, Matushri Kashiben Vrajlal Valia International Vidyalaya (MKVVIV) undertook a field trip to discover the tragic plight in their own localities. They scanned the areas of Dahisar, Gorai and Borivali, the suburbs of Mumbai.
In the yesteryears, these suburbs were spots of pristine natural beauty. But today, the picture has transformed. With increasing need to adapt to urbanization, an escalation in population and immigrants, the natural scenic beauty of these suburbs is marred by the cancer of garbage.
City garbage includes one prime ingredient- plastic bags. Plastic bags being light are easily transported to the breadth and width of the city merely by the drift of the sea winds.
Other components of garbage include aluminum cans, lead storage batteries, rubber tyres, lubricant oils and other chemical pigments and wastes. Sharp pieces of glass and colored paper are additional attributes.
Beaches, water bodies and canals are part of the ecology of the suburbs of Mumbai which have become dumping grounds for all domestic and industrial refuse.
A 'Mumbaikar', is the common man of a developing country who looks forward to each day to accomplish his dream of getting on par with the first world. Blinded by his dream to accomplish his dream, he has forgotten to address an important environmental issue that will decimate the life of his future generations.
Trash in any form is an unsightly sore to the human eye. It shows that the residents have lost their sense of aesthetics and disregard the natural ecosystem of their environment.
In addition, it brings out the ruthless unconcern of the mind of a Mumbaikar in respecting the life of other animal forms, birds, cattle, dogs, fish that inadvertly bite into plastic cups, plastic bags and wrapping materials, fast-food wrappers, plastic bottles, and other plastic containers. Plastics are hazardous to wildlife. Ingestion of styrofoam, rubber and plastic causes internal organ failure or even slow strangulation.
One litre soft drink bottles fragment into small particles and accumulate in sea areas, soil and river beds. The problem would not have been grave if plastic had no ill effects. But plastic consumed by seabirds and other animals mistaking it for prey has slowly diminished the marine, avian and terrestrial life in the city.
Acidification of natural waters with trash is the final blow to ecology that adds to global warming.
Garbage never seems to reduce, just like cancer. Its time for the educated and erudite to set their competitive materialistic goals aside for a short while and spend more time in dealing with their accumulated wastes. Thus, improving the quality of life of all the lifeforms that harmoniously reside in their environment.
Acknowledgements- The pictures for the project on 'Environmental Pollution' for the Grade 11 were collected students of the MKVVIV Senior Secondary CBSE school, Borivali (W).