The Dawoodi Bohra Community commemorated 101 weeks of ‘Turning the Tide Against Plastic Pollution,’ A global initiative that has mobilised community volunteers in different parts of the world in an effort to combat Plastic pollution.
A seminar was organised at the community’s Mumbai headquarters on saturday, 9th October by members of Burhani Foundation, the community’s environmental research and awareness organisation in collaboration with Project Rise, the community’s global philanthropic arm.
Former head of the UNEP, Mr Erik Solheim graced the occasion as Chief Guest in the presence of UN Champion of the Earth, Advocate Afroz Shah and Consul General of Norway to Mumbai, Mr Arne Jan Flølo.
In opening remarks, Taikhoom Mohiyuddin, an environmentalist by heart and nephew of His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, recounted how the younger generation is becoming environmentally conscious and it has become the need of the hour for everyone to take collective action to save the planet. He also noted that environmental responsibility is mandated by numerous prophetic traditions and Islamic teachings.
Mustafa Feeroz, an educator at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Marol, shared a visual presentation of the community’s efforts since 2018 in the fight against plastic pollution in three key areas; cleanups, awareness drives and community development.
Afroz Shah praised the community’s efforts with an inspiring message of how the ‘little-little’ that we do goes a long way in saving the environment. ‘The key is love and collaboration. If each of us comes together, we will do fantastic work,’ he continued.
Erik Solheim in his remarks observed that the amount of plastic that is present in the world poses health hazards to everyone. He suggested a simple solution: ‘Refuse, Reduce, Recycle,’ pointing to the message on one of the banners in front of him. He suggested that instead of using plastic, people should use alternative utensils that do not pose any environmental threat like glass cups for drinking water and bamboo sticks in place of plastic straws.
In his short remarks, Mr Flølo thanked the community for inviting him and applauded the fact that even though the community was relatively small in number, the environmental work that it does collectively, has a large impact.
The guests were felicitated at the end of the meet followed by an informal interaction with members of different community organisations including Daeretul Aqeeq (the department for the wellbeing of women and children), Marol Nazafat (cleanliness) team & Burhani Guards (community volunteers), who have been at the forefront of several community initiatives over the course of these 100 weeks.