It is very rare to bump in to individuals like Malhar Kalambe in the present time. At the age when most youth are simply concerned about their own needs, wants, pleasure trips, addictions, fun times, drinking binges, this young man is taking big responsibilities to repair the environment around him and cause massive changes in the condition of the beaches around him and the way people perceive their responsibilities and their associations with the environment and nature.
Malhar Kalambe is from Mumbai and is 22 years old. He is currently pursuing his LLB in Mumbai but aims to become a CA in the future.
He is a serial volunteer and has been awarded by the United Nations on the International Volunteer Day. He was awarded the Volunteer For Change award and it holds a very special place in his heart and soul.
It all started in 2017, when Malhar went on a vacation to Bali, Philippines. Bali is known for its beautiful beaches, clean roads, friendly people and in short, being an international tourist and vacation destination. Malhar had a lot of fun on the trip with his family like all youngsters would.
However, upon returning to India, a realization dawned upon him. He went to visit Dadar beach and came back home complaining about the dismal, dirty, polluted state of the beach to his mother. His mother then put an end to his complaints by telling him to actually go and do something about the pollution instead of complaining about it. This inspired Malhar to take responsibility for the beach.
Initially, Malhar rounded up volunteers after creating a group on WhatsApp and confesses that it was a very rewarding experience as he got in touch again with old school friends again after as much as four years.
However, the truth is that it has not been just a bed of roses for Malhar and his team of volunteers. He admits that there have been lots of challenges and setbacks to overcome along the way even though his initiative has been running for 114 weeks now.
The volunteers are not permanent and they have to keep arranging new ones as most of them don’t stick with his initiative long-term.
Another problem is the continuous dumping of garbage, industrial waste in to the Mithi river, which is actually the root cause of the inflow of garbage, waste, and plastic in to the Dadar sea.
A major push to his initiative came recently when he organized an inter-college competition in Mumbai to clean up different shore fronts of beaches in the city. More than 1200 students participated and 25 tones of waste were cleaned up just one hour.
Malhar passionately states that we cannot except the government or ‘others’ to clean up our trash, as the government too does not have sufficient resources or workers to do this task.
We all have to take personal responsibility for getting it done and maintain a can do attitude despite all the challenges and setbacks.
Malhar is setting a fine example as a young man who takes big responsibilities to get things done despite any and all obstacles, demoralizations, de-motivations that can happen along the way.