Puri is famous all over the world for the Jagannath Temple and its history with the state of Kalinga. Thousands of tourists arrive every year at Puri to attend the world famous Ratha Yatra and thousands more come for the beach. However, Puri beach is a shadow of itself. The tsunami a few years ago eroded quite a bit of the sand and it is still recovering from the recent cyclone. People can’t do much for these as only time would heal the lands but there are other things which are quite attainable. So a cleanliness drive was conducted at the beach by over 10,000 social activists under the banner of ‘Mo Beach’ Initiative. This would serve as a community building project as well as a beautifying project to keep attracting tourists.
People from all walks of life joined hands and participated in this cleanliness drive, including Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Bollywood actor Vidyut Jamawal and writer Nandita Das. The Mo Beach initiative was also assisting in cleaning up beaches all along the coastline of the Puri district.
The Mo Beach Initiative, modelled after the Mo Bus and Mo Cycle programmes, was launched in June this year by the Puri district administration following the Blue Flag certification of Puri beach. The Blue Flag project is a Government of India initiative launched in 2017 to develop 13 beaches in the country. Renown sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the cleanup campaign.
It was just last year when Sudarshan Patnaik launched a dharna at Puri beach to protest the lack of action by the government to keep the beach clean. Hopefully, with this programme, people will come forward and join us to keep our beaches clean. These beaches are a part of our heritage and it is our duty to present our best to anyone who comes to visit us. Thank you.