The Thames Project
1160. Dhruv Boruah
Dhruv Boruah, from London, is an environmental campaigner who became the first person to cycle on the Thames from its source to the sea, using the journey to clear litter from the river and raise awareness of plastic pollution.
Dhruv set up his initiative ‘The Thames Project’ after completing a yacht race from London to Rio de Janeiro and witnessing the scale of plastic pollution in the water. Using his specially adapted bike, Dhruv provides regular clean-ups on other waterways across the UK, as well as in the Netherlands and the USA, and his campaign has been featured by media across the world, including coverage on CNN which has been viewed over 33 million times. He has also developed a ‘Thames Litter Discovery Map’ to identify concentrations of litter in the river and engage volunteers in mapping areas in need of further support.
Dhruv’s award coincides with the 2019 Great British Spring Clean, the country’s largest mass-action environmental campaign run by ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ (pictured below with fellow Points of Light litter heroes Emily Stevenson, Nadia Sparkes, Rosanne Bostock and Jason Alexander).
In a personal letter to Dhruv, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your engaging and imaginative river cycle rides have inspired people worldwide to consider the damaging impact litter and plastics are having on our waterways. Through ‘The Thames Project’, you are encouraging people to reduce their plastic footprint and take action in their local communities to keep rivers clean. I wish you the very best with your continued work.”
“I am pleased, honoured and humbled to accept the Point of Light award from the Prime Minister Theresa May. I am incredibly proud of everyone who believed in me and continues to support me in my mission to initially raise awareness and now to find solutions to solve the plastic crisis. It is great to see the Prime Minister support my initiative and this award will inspire me to do more and to be able to inspire the country, especially the young people to take action, get their hands dirty, innovate and solve the crisis since time is running out and we need all hands on deck.”
Pictured below: Dhruv with volunteers after a waterway clean-up