Versova’s Unstoppable Hero
2023, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Climate Hero: Afroz Shah, Afroz Shah Foundation
As an animal and ocean lover, it always broke my heart to see the ways that humans have harmed the environment. I knew that I wanted to use my poetry to highlight someone who has the same passion for animal and ocean life. This is when I came across Afroz Shah on a list of ocean activists. He stood out strongly to me because he is an everyday individual willing to take on the overwhelming job of cleaning up an entire weathered beach. Turns out, Afroz Shah was the host of the biggest ocean cleanup in the world! He has saved countless animals and made Mumbai’s littered, old beach brand new. This inspired me to make my poem into the shape of a turtle to represent all of the Olive Ridley turtles that Afroz Shah’s work gave new life to. It amazed me how much one person could accomplish even when facing numerous obstacles. For example, Afroz Shah and his volunteers had to deal with groups of hecklers trying to provoke them and still, he never gave up. Afroz Shah has certainly made a significant impact on Mumbai and has inspired millions across the globe to help the world realize how much one person can do as long as they are passionate about it. Even though it may sometimes feel like the world is falling apart, activists like Afroz Shah remind us that one individual’s efforts can make an enormous impact and lead to a better world for us all.