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The Journey of a Wasteland to Wetland

This is a story of water conservation of a holding pond located at the base of a hill in sector 35, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. This wetland was once a wasteland when general public used it for dumping puja material, plastics, washing of clothes & vehicles which resulted in visible degradation of the pond.
Few local volunteers decided to change the scenario of the pond. It started on 30 Sep 2018, we cleaned the pond to clear the mess of all kinds of plastic, thermocol, puja material etc. This led to frequent visits to the pond by people namely Sh. Dharmendra, Sh. Sudhir, Sh. Amarnath, Sh. Mohandas, and Smt. Deepali who were part of the first clean-up drive of the pond to see the status of the pond.
Weekly cleaning drives were organized with help of volunteers to conserve the pond. It was observed that despite regular cleanup drives, many people still used to dump plastics, flowers, puja material in the pond.
Hence, we decided to create awareness among the citizens by putting hand-made posters around the pond and speaking to visitors of the pond.
Mr. Dharmendra Kar & Mr. Amarnath Singh decided to visit the pond on daily basis and start plantation around its periphery along with cleaning activity.
We continued the daily visits for next 2 years, cleaning the water body and planted around 100+ native trees around its periphery, created awareness among people living nearby towards conserving the pond. Today, the pond is a clean water body and attracts many visitors including people, birds like Asian open bill stork, cormorant, kingfisher, dragonflies, butterflies, sparrows to name few.
Media played a crucial role in spreading the story among larger mass to conserve such wetlands.
Panvel municipality supported this drive whenever required by removing the garbage and disposing at suitable place. This pond recently received the #WaterHero award by Ministry of Jalshakti, Government of India.