Saturday, 15 March 2008

My City - Clean Mumbai…..

Whenever I have visitors, I feel very happy. I take them out for shopping and to the places of interest, for Bollywood films, for drives around the city, pointing to the houses of Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ambhitab Bachan and many other stars, I also take them to eating places for Pani Puri, Batatawadas, bhel puri.

We laugh and enjoy all day, going to different suburbs of Mumbai. It is a real fun and it lasts as long as they don’t comment on three P’s of Mumbai – Poverty, Pollution and Population. The minute they start complaining about three P’s my mood is off. Then I don’t wish to entertain them any more.

Is it my fault if Mumbai is dirty? Why do they have to complain it to me? I don’t eat paan, neither do I smoke. I bring all used, wet bhel puri wrappers back home because I cannot find dust bins on the streets. I have stopped eating chewing gums too. I am a role model of a responsible citizen, why can’t people learn from me? I have tried asking taxi driver not to spit on the streets and he has asked to vacate his vehicle. What do I do? The recent report by Forbes magazine which ranked Mumbai city as the seventh dirtiest city in the word makes me angrier. Grrhh!

But today, I am happy. My friend telephones and tells me that I shall be proud of Mumbai. That Mumbai will no longer be a dirty place to live in. It is unbelievable, I know, but not impossible.
She sends me a note informing me about the new culture that has started in Mumbai and that everybody in Mumbai is as distressed as I am of the filthy conditions of Mumbai.

According to the new rule, students and volunteers will blow the whistle if citizens are found littering or causing nuisance in public places.

Joining hands with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Clean-Up Mumbai, Woman Sheriff of Mumbai, Indu Sahani on Thursday, (13th march) inaugurated the ‘blow the Sheriff’s whistle campaign’. Sheriff distributed whistles to around 150 volunteers in addition to ID cards which are ‘permitted to warn and not to fine.’

Sheriff Dr Indu Shahani feels BMC cannot cope with 13 million people and citizens must work in partnership with the civic body. People who throw garbage should be blamed and should be given lessons in civic sense,” she said.

Additional Municipal Commissioner RA Rajiv who initiated the Clean-Up project was also present during the occasion. “It is great that city’s youth will be involved in making the city clean. The enthusiasm and vigor of youngsters will definitely help in the drive,” he said.

The drive has started and we see the volunteers whistling away at every defaulter. One volunteer was heard whistling several times at the same person claiming that he had seen the person litter again and again.

One tapori yelled back at him…..”Zyada seetie bajaya na, to tere kaan ke niche bajaoonga. Samaje kya”

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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