In a striking display of civic responsibility, a group of Russian tourists recently took it upon themselves to tackle the mounting garbage problem at Fort Kochi beach, exposing a stark contrast between Kerala Tourism’s depiction of pristine beauty and the grim reality on the ground.
The incident unfolded through viral videos and images capturing Russian tourists cleaning up the beachfront. After collecting the garbage, he was accompanied by a message urging locals to take charge of their environment. This spontaneous act of cleanliness brought everyone’s attention to the glaring discrepancy between the idyllic portrayal of Fort Kochi Beach as a serene haven frequented by tourists and locals and the harsh truth of its litter-strewn shores.
Kerala Tourism swiftly responded by initiating an inquiry into the beach’s current condition. This move aligns with the state’s ambitious Tourism Vision 2025, which aims to optimise Kerala’s tourism potential sustainably, emphasising the importance of preserving natural beauty and cultural heritage. Fort Kochi Beach is also the beach where tourists come to see the iconic Chinese fishing nets in action. These fishing nets are a big part of Kochi’s heritage. Interestingly, there are only a few of these historic Chinese fishing nets left in Kochi.
The videos and photographs capturing the foreign tourists’ efforts went viral on social media, sparking widespread criticism and reflection within the local community.
Also present at the site was C. Satheesh, President of the All Kerala Tour Guides Association, who was leading a group of NRI tourists.
It was also reported that the Cochin Heritage Conservation Society was given the responsibility to oversee beach cleaning efforts. The video is proof that it failed to effectively execute its duties. The incident reignited calls for enhanced beach-cleaning measures.
If reports are to go by, and looking at the current situation, it looks like the daily cleaning efforts by around 20 sweepers and garbage collectors are insufficient to address the scale of the problem. It is clear that urgent action is needed to address the root causes of beach pollution and ensure the preservation of Fort Kochi’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.
In the wake of this eye-opening incident, it is imperative for local authorities and community members to come together and implement effective solutions to safeguard Kerala’s iconic beaches and uphold the state’s reputation as a premier tourist destination committed to environmental sustainability.