Every Sunday, Zsuzsanna Ferrao, a Hungarian woman, trods up to the Rangaon beach near Vasai in adjoining Palghar district of Maharashtra and goes about cleaning it. Giving her company in the beach cleanliness drive are her husband and Vasai resident Lisbon, with three-year-old son Lucius and 19-month-old daughter Nascha.
“I consider India as my own country and believe we should make every effort to keep it clean,” Zsuzsanna says.
“Hungary doesn’t have beaches but it has many rivers and lakes. I have been living in India for the last four years and feel people should keep the beaches clean,” Zsuzsanna said.
“Some days, it is very difficult. The beach is full of rubbish. I wanted to find a clean place on the beach where my children could play,” she told PTI.
“We want to teach our children to look after our surroundings and care for the environment. They have learned not to litter on road and not to throw rubbish around,” she said.
Her husband Lisbon Ferrao says he is a firm believer in Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
“Zsuzsanna found that the Rangaon beach is full of discarded footwear, liquor bottles, syringes, and other garbage,” Lisbon, a businessman, said.
He married Zsuzsanna in 2013 and they have been living in Vasai ever since.
“My wife is a nature-lover and so visits the beach at least once a week,” he said.
“She has taught our children not to litter and the importance of keeping our environment clean,” he added.
“She is oblivious to people staring or giggling at her as they pass by watching her pick slippers, whiskey bottles, plastics, medicines bottles on the beach,” he said.
Rajesh Gharat, a resident of Rangaon, said “It is laudable that a foreigner is so concerned about cleaning of our beaches. I have seen her collecting garbage and taking it in her car, to be dumped in the nearby dustbin.”
“Her husband uses the storage compartment of his two-wheeler to collect bottles dumped on the beach,” added Gharat.