The Dawoodi Bohras, a global Muslim faith with approximately one million members, are stepping up efforts to clean coastlines and rivers in their communities around the world.
The Bohra’s Turning the Tide initiative – part of a global drive to eliminate single-use plastic and rid water bodies of plastic pollution – involves men, women, and children of the faith regularly volunteering in cities ranging from San Francisco to Dubai to Mumbai to clean up waterways in their neighborhoods and encourage everyone to lead more sustainable lives, with the goal to #BeatPlasticPollution.
Taikhoom Mohiyuddin, a member of the Turning the Tide initiative said, ‘Plastic pollution is choking our marine ecosystems, wildlife and human health. We are all responsible for plastic pollution, but by working together, we really can turn things around. That is why Bohras all over the world – under the guidance and instruction of the Head of our community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin – are working harder than ever to clear up our rivers and coastlines, and help others reconnect with nature.’
Turning the Tide is a global effort by the Bohras:
- Bohras in San Francisco, USA, regularly clean up and restore the Alameda Creek near Masjid-e-Mohammedi in Fremont, removing trash and invasive plants.
- In Mumbai, India, Bohras have joined forces with Afroz Shah, environmental activist and United Nations Champion of the Earth, to expand beach-cleaning operations and to highlight the problem of marine pollution.
- In Kenya, students of the Nairobi campus of Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, the Bohras’ world-class Arabic university, spend their weekends cleaning and rejuvenating the Mbagathi River.
- In Singapore, community members recently braved high temperatures to clear plastic pollution from a 1.15 kilometer stretch of beach, collecting over 20 kilograms of recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
- Bohras in Dubai, UAE and Vancouver, Canada have initiated clean-up drives of local streets and parks.
Mr Mohiyuddin continued, ‘For many years, the Dawoodi Bohra community has been leading practical efforts to protect and enhance the environment. Nurturing nature is something that Bohra communities everywhere do on a daily basis. But now the need to act is becoming more urgent and widespread. Plastic pollution is a major factor that affects us and generations to come. The Dawoodi Bohra community has stepped up to the challenge to beat plastic pollution once and for all.’
U.N. Champion of the Earth Afroz Shah said of the Dawoodi Bohras, ‘They are very very ecologically sensitive. Their love for nature is unprecedented and this stems from their faith and belief that we exist as a species on this planet with other species.’
The Dawoodi Bohra faith is renowned the world over for its community service. Turning the Tide is part of Project Rise – a global Dawoodi Bohra initiative working in partnership with government bodies and local organisations around the world to help alleviate hunger, raise health and hygiene levels among children and families, and preserve and protect the environment.
Reducing single-use disposable plastic is an important part of this program. For example, over 27,000 Bohras that recently gathered in Sri Lanka to commemorate Ashara Mubaraka, an annual event in the Dawoodi Bohra calendar, eliminated all food waste by controlling portions and distributing leftovers to the homeless and needy, and avoided all single-use plastic products.
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