More than 150 students from six Dubai schools gathered at Al Mamzar open beach for a clean-up activity on the 71st Indian Republic Day. Around four officials from the waste management department of Dubai Municipality and Clear Reef International DMCC supported the students and teachers on Sunday, January 26.
The activity was also conducted to honour the memory of the 150th birth anniversary of Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who always put emphasis on ‘Swachhta’ (cleanliness), as it is cleanliness that leads to a healthy and prosperous life.
Various schools participate
Students from Grade 4 and 5 of the participating schools - Amity School Dubai, Buds Public School, Oak Tree Primary School, Our Own High School Al Warqaa, Star International and JSS Private School - spread across the beach along with their teachers and Dubai Municipality officials equipped with garbage bags to collect trash from the beach and in turn protect marine life and help keep the UAE’s coastline pristine. The students were all dressed up in caps, gloves and white T-shirts with the caption ‘For a Better Tomorrow’.
It is a day to remember when India’s constitution came into force on January 26, completing the country’s transition toward becoming an independent republic. Having this concept in mind JSS private school organised the beach clean-up at Al Mamzar to help maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Sand art competition
To lend creativity to the event, a sand art competition was conducted for all the participating schools, and students used the cigarette butts and waste collected from the beach to highlight the amount of trash that gets into our oceans.
The campaign aimed to raise awareness among communities, along with five other schools of Dubai and with support of Dubai municipality and Clear Reef International DMCC Dubai, on the importance of maintaining cleanliness and full commitment to not to throw cigarette butts and waste on the sand.
Chitra Sharma JSS private school, Dubai, said: “In an effort to spread awareness about the importance of protecting the marine life and educating the community about the need of the hour, the environment committee head Gwen Dickson and team of JSS PS joined forces with five schools from the community for the activity. We are thankful to the waste management departments ’One hour with the cleaner’ campaign and Clear Reef International DMCC Dubai for supporting their social fund to our endeavours to educate students on the harmful effects of littering on the beach.”
Indian Republic Day
It was conducted on the Republic Day to support India’s drive to a greener and cleaner world. “Over two million Indian migrants are estimated to be living in the UAE, if we as Indians can contribute towards the sustainable landscape of UAE, it will a difference,” she added.
Message to UAE residents
I have a personal message to UAE residents. In our daily routine we are so busy in the technology world that we forget about Nature and have no connection at all. These children showed us the way to implement this in our day-to-day life. So, it’s an initiative to build a relationship between people and Nature. And it was a blessing to see the effort by all five different schools’ students.
Pointing towards a fish he and his peers made using sand and littered cigarette butts collected from the beach, Grade 5 student of JSS Private school, Ali Ahmed, said: “It was a really fun and creative event where we learnt how important it is to take care of our oceans, marine life and environment. Hence we joined hands to save the planet by doing what we could.”
Another Grade 5 student from Oaktree Primary School, Haya Naqqash, said: “Today, we had a great time cleaning up the beach with so many different schools and we realised what kind of litter gets left behind and pollutes these beaches. We picked it all up and instead used it creatively to decorate our sandcastles. I really enjoyed it and felt good helping the environment and working together as a community.”
— The reader is an administrative officer based in Dubai, who was part of the beach clean-up
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