Afroz Shah, 38
This practising counsel at Bombay High Court has dedicated every evening, all his weekends, all his holidays, and one morning every week in the last four years to a cause that is very close to his heart: Tackling marine litter by cleaning rivers, beaches, oceans and mangroves.
He runs the Mindset Change Ground Action Campaign, which focusses on citizens living in the human-ocean conflict zone. United Nations has labelled his clean-up as ‘Biggest Beach Clean-Up in World History’. About 180,000 adults and 80,000 students from 27 schools and colleges have been participating in his clean-up, community development and circular economy activities on a regular basis. He is the first Indian to be awarded the UN’s highest environmental honour ‘Champions of the Earth’. He wants more people to spend time in the lap of nature, love humanity and other species. For him, that’s all there is to life.