As the monsoons begin in Maharashtra, they bring with it seasonal waterfalls and hoards of tourists flocking to see them. Such waterfalls become a popular weekend getaway for people from nearby metropolitans, such as Mumbai or Pune.
This last weekend, one such waterfall was visited by a throng of tourists to celebrate the onset of the monsoons! But the visitors brought along with them the one thing that they definitely didn't take back – trash!
Members of Mumbai-based NGO Environment Life cleared up around 2500kg or 2.5ton of trash from around the Bhivpuri Waterfall, located around 90km from Mumbai. Joining them were more than 125 volunteers from different groups such as Nature Lovers, Group Grampanchyat Members, Guru Nanak College- GTB, Neral Vidya Mandir, Badlapur Mahila Mandal and Media.
Garbage is harmful in more ways than one. It damages plant and animal life, disturbs the local ecosystem, and liquor bottles especially injure the animals, both in and out of water.
Other than liquor bottles, a lot of plastic trash was also picked up, such as wafer packets, straws, thermocol plates and spoons, biscuit packets and even a piece or two of clothing.
In the past, officials from Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC), have banned tourists from certain waterfalls to control such garbage menace. Now, locals and the authorities from Environment Life want a ban on liquor consumption at waterfalls as well.
But is it really the solution? Do we need the law to stop us from visiting waterfalls? Why can't we be more responsible? If we keep destroying the gifts so graciously given to us by nature, we will either end up destroying them completely or be barred from enjoying them.
This is a request to each and every tourist, respect nature and holiday responsibly. Enjoy your vacation, but not at the cost of harming anyone – human, animal or plant.
Further reading: A Dummies Guide To Responsible Travel: Indian Edition