Brazil is facing the worst oil spill in the country's history and the environmental catastrophe started in early September when large quantities of oil washed ashore. Soon videos of inefficient attempts to clean up the spills by volunteers started circulating on social media. Recently, a picture of oil-stained boy volunteering for beach clean-up that has been spreading along the north-east coast for nearly two months went viral.
The 13-year-old boy, Everton Miguel dos Anjos, along with four of his brothers and several cousins joined hundreds of volunteers trying to clean the beach and scrub the oil off rocks on the shore. The boy was wearing a T-shirt initially but he had to take it off when he saw how dirty it was getting and then wore a sort of tunic made out of a plastic garbage bag.
The boy, Dos Anjos, told the photographer that after the pictures were out, his mother scolded him. The pictures were published by major news organisations all around the world. "I had asked her permission to help clean the beach and she said yes, so long as I did not get dirty," the boy said.
Four days after the day the photo was taken there wasn't much oil remaining on the beach.The cleaning operation has been taken over by the army and children are not allowed to help any longer. According to the Brazilian navy, since the beginning of this spill, over 1,000 tons of oil has been recovered.
On August 30, the first spill was spotted off the coast of north-east Paraiba state, and it has now spread along 2,250 km of the coast, spoiling all the beautiful beaches. There are several complaints against the government raised by environmental groups saying that the government was slow to respond to such a huge crisis and couldn't provide adequate resources for tackling the one of the worst environmental disasters that have ever to hit north-east part of Brazil.