Eight-year-old dives into the ocean to clean up plastic waste

When scuba diving instructor Aravind Tharunsri’s daughter Thaaragai Aarathana turned eight she did her first scuba diving at Rameswaram. After going under the water, she realised how much the ocean is polluted.
Eight-year-old dives into the ocean to clean up plastic waste
Thaaragai Aarathana with father Aravind Tharunsri

Chennai

Thaaragai asked her father if they can do something to create awareness on ocean pollution. Aravind told her that a short video explaining ocean life and the importance to save marine life will be a good start. Along with her father, Thaaragai made a short documentary. “This video is about how people are polluting marine life. Cleanliness starts from home and if every individual keeps the surroundings clean, they will not dump waste in lakes and oceans. Also, there are many endangered species — if people spend some time to save them and educate the future generation, it will make a huge difference. I wanted more children to come forward and do save their environment for the future,” Thaaragai tells DT Next.
Thaaragai was introduced to water when she was three days old so she got adapted to it early in life. “She started floating in the water she was nine months old and started to swim well by the time she turned three. Whenever I go scuba diving, I take my daughter along with me. She has seen me collecting plastic which gets dumped and washed into the sea. Thaaragai wanted to save the ocean. When my daughter turned eight, she became eligible to scuba dive in shallow depth. So, we planned for underwater clean-up. We did our initial planning like a weather check and arranged a boat for our travel. We took all the required equipment like a small tank, baby mask, BCD (buoyancy control device) and regulator,” a proud Aravind says.
Thaaragai reminisces about her diving experience excitedly. “As per scuba diving guidelines, I am allowed to dive deeper when I turn 10. So, for now, I dived in a spot where the depth was less. The ocean was full of colourful fishes and it surrounded me. I saw jellyfish, many jackfish and grouper. In our ocean, we have so many fishes and corals and you can see them only if you dive. I also saw tonnes of plastic. It affects marine life. We collected as much as plastic waste we could and returned to the boat,” says the young girl.  

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