UN award to lawyer for largest beach clean-up Demonetisation: Cash garland business takes the big note hit
City-based lawyer and environmentalist Afroz Shah was awarded the United Nations’ (UN) top environmental accolade – Champions of the Earth award – for his efforts in launching what is the world’s largest beach cleanup, at Versova. It’s the first time an Indian has won the award.
Along with five other environmentalists from across the world, Shah’s efforts were recognised by the UN in a programme hosted by the government of Mexico at the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancun on Friday.
Awarded in the ‘Action and Inspiration’ category, Shah was recognised for inspiring hundreds of volunteers over the past year to help rid 4,000 tonnes of plastic, glass and filth, which had built up on the sand at Versova beach. Mumbai-based lawyer Afroz Shah (right) and Erik Solheim, head of United Nations Environment, clean the Versova beach in Mumbai.
For the past 12 years, the annual Champions of the Earth award is given to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment. “His [Shah] efforts, and the hundreds of volunteers he’s inspired, is a wonderful example of citizen action and reminds the rest of the world that even the most ambitious, global agreements are only as good as the individual action and determination that brings them to life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, who joined Versova Residents’ Volunteer (VRV), a citizens group cleaning up Versova Beach for over a year now, for a day to collect waste from the beach in October. “His outstanding leadership is drawing global attention to the devastating impacts of marine litter.”
The ATMs are dry, the banks are almost. The cash crunch is leading some ingenious people to shops in the Capital’s old quarters that sell money — crisp banknotes strung together into a garland.
A bridegroom’s paraphernalia demands a garland of cash in north Indian weddings, but the more-than-two-dozen makers of this vanity item are getting unusual customers this season.
The reason is not hard to guess. People want to buy garlands made of 100- and 50-rupee notes, and pay from their e-wallet or credit card.
Some offer to shell out `15,000 in defunct 500- and 1,000-rupee notes in exchange for a 100rupee garland that will give A man sells cash garlands in New Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area on Friday. `10,000 of crispy valid cash.
An attractive garland contains about 100 bills, and these can be unstrung to meet daily expenses or make sundry purchases.