Spotlight: Untold stories, inspiring journeys & unfiltered insights of your favorite creators!

Meet Malhar Kalambe, founder of beach please, a passionate environmentalist, inspiring youth leader, and force to be reckoned with. Since a young age, his deep love for the natural world has fueled a lifelong commitment to environmental protection. Recognizing the urgency of the global climate crisis, he has dedicated himself to raising awareness, driving action, and mobilizing young people for change.

Through innovative initiatives like beach clean-ups and waste management campaigns, Malhar promotes sustainability and fosters environmental responsibility. His remarkable achievements, including gracing the cover of Forbes India and ranking 28th on India’s Top 100 Digital Stars list, solidify his status as a trailblazer in digital influence and environmental advocacy.

In a conversation with Social Nation, Malhar Kalambe shared the inspiring story of how he started his journey as an environmentalist and discussed his visions and goals for a sustainable future.

Can you share a bit about your background and how you got started in your field? What moved you to do what you do?

In July 2017, coming back to India from a tour to Bali, it hit me that the beaches in India are not as clean as abroad. Complaining about the same to my mother,” She said that if I don’t find the beaches clean I should go and clean them“. And this is what motivated me!

The 1st clean-up drive that took place was a reunion with my school friends who just like me thought that cleaning the beach once would clean it forever! The very next day, I saw the beach in the same condition as before which made me understand that with every high tide, the beach throws more trash at the bed. This is how it all started, as a simple reunion of 20 children to keep the place where I have grown up clean, to a youth movement.

Being an environmentalist, what is it that’s difficult to explain to people, yet you’ve to do it? Is there anything like that?

I believe that the most important thing that people fail to understand and implement is the importance of leading a sustainable life. With this, it also becomes challenging to make them realize the importance of the environment and how it is the epicenter of everything that revolves around us!

As an environmentalist it becomes challenging to make people understand that the degrading environment and climate change are not only affecting them but all the living species and the overall ecosystem, creating life-threatening imbalances.

What do you think is your biggest achievement to date?

The fact that people come together and get their hands dirty to clean the beaches and understand my idea of environmental conservation showing their immense support is what I consider as my biggest achievement. To believe a 19-year-old and take into consideration his vision has been something that I’ll be always grateful for. The Mithi River and Dadar Beach are relatively cleaner today, which might not be the case forever, but looking back today makes me happy.

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Three things that you feel need to change – in terms of understanding climate change?

The way people look at the whole concept of climate change needs to change. A lot of people think that climate change won’t affect them, but nature makes no difference! The unseasonal rains, extreme heat, and cold are all signs of climate change and this is going to get worse. Hence, it is high time to take climate change seriously and try to reduce its repercussions.

One place in Mumbai where you’ve been working for some time now and there has been a huge difference?

The Mithi River and the Airoli Mangroves have been the areas of prime focus for the past five and a half years. The major reason to stop the clean-up drives at Dadar Beach and began at Mithi River was because the river becomes the source of polluting the beaches in Mumbai. Considering the importance of the Mithi River in Mumbai, I believe that cleaning the river would eventually clean the other water bodies of the city. The before-after pictures of these two locations highlight the major difference.

As you work towards bringing a change in the environment, how do you think social media and content creation help you if it does?

Over the years I have realized that not everybody can regularly be a part of the clean-up drives and hence to keep them always connected to the environment content creation plays a pivotal role. Realizing that social media plays a key role in sensitizing people I have started to put up such content that would make people take steps in conserving the environment, reaching the maximum number of people.

Do you think working and cleaning the beaches and rivers while people pollute them continuously, going to bring a difference?

I know for a fact that clean-up drives are not a sustainable solution and for the past five and half years our primary motive has always been about sensitizing the youth and not cleaning one specific location. I believe that climate change and environmental conservation are subjects to be learned by experience and not in the four walls of a classroom. Sensitizing the youth leaves a lasting impact on them making them take steps to bring about change in society.

What more do you want to do other than what you’ve been doing?

I always say, “We don’t want to protect the environment but want to create an environment where it does not require protection.” Working at the ground level for the past few years, I know that pollution isn’t going to stop until we make and implement some environment-friendly policies. Hence, I look forward to creating environment-friendly policies and sustainable solutions by collaborating with the various state governments or the Government of India, or various such organizations to have a holistic approach to the problem.

One piece of advice that you would like to give people is what they can do for planet Earth.

I am of the firm opinion that the youth has the potential to bring drastic changes in society be it regarding climate change. Blaming the authorities would not bring about changes but sustainable changes in our lifestyles, leading a more eco-conscious life would definitely bring significant changes and most of the problems would be solved. I think the citizens need to come together and address these problems in order to fight them.

Malhar Kalambe’s unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and remarkable achievements shine as a beacon of hope in the face of climate change. His inspiring journey calls us to unite and create a sustainable, thriving world for generations to come. Let us join hands with Malhar in taking action and making a positive impact on our planet!