The Chance to Make Mumbai Pretty — Daan Utsav

While everyone complains about the incessant rains in Bombay, I love the fact they wash the dirt and grime from all the buildings, trees and hoardings to make the commute so pretty…long and tedious but pretty. The skyline is gorgeous if we actually stop checking our mobile every minute and gaze out of the window from the bus, cab or car we are in.

When you come back from a visit abroad, you are instantly stuck with the vast contrast between the clean streets there and the dirty ones here. People litter without thinking twice and I have seen children throwing empty wafer packets from cars when there are adults sitting next to them. So while the rain cleans everything which requires a shower from above, all it does to this garbage is push it towards a place where it can go no further and then it keeps on piling up. Do we pause to think that we, who always commute in a vehicle, are destroying the journey for those who are walking on that path? The path which will have soggy plastic bags vying to be on top of some discarded newspaper and some leaves and all of it gloriously getting wet and putrid due to the same rain which cleaned up the dirt and grime on the awnings!

As if that wasn’t enough, we have people sticking posters on walls and some mouth artists spray painting with the betel leaf juice they so laboriously masticated for hours in their mouth. So for the poor pedestrian, there is a garbage maze on the ground and also danger on the sides — walking too right to these stained dirty walls or too left in the mad rushing traffic. Finally this commuter sees a station and breathes a sigh of relief! Maybe his eyes can finally relax and see something nice before another commute in a sweat-ridden, no-personal-space-concept ride commences. And what does he get — yet another repeat of his pedestrian journey — paan stained walls with peeling posters and dirt and grime stuck to the glue from some peeled off posters!

So if you can picturize all this, think of the joy some of these pedestrians got when they entered the newly spruced up Matunga Road station last year to continue their commute by train. A group of 30 volunteers along with Haresh Shah, founder of the NGO — Making a Difference or MAD as it is popularly known, decided to beautify the station using crowd funding to finance the beautification. It brought joy to the thousands of commuters who otherwise felt that everyone conspired to make their journey dreary and dull.

Look at the pictures! Sounds so exciting and fun! But don’t feel left out. This is Aamchi Mumbai — we still have a long way to go and many stations to paint! This October, exactly a year after the Matunga Road project, Mumbai First in collaboration with MAD is all set to beautify 36 railway stations and they need you! Hurry….and register athttp://bit.ly/2dcAb03.

Remember October first week is Daan Utsav and what better daan than Shramdaan?

Amisha Vora is ConnectFor’s Business Development Associate.

To make your difference and find the right opportunity to give your time towards Daan Utsav, volunteer to beautify Mumbai at http://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/cf0375-railway-station-beautification/ today!

Source of Image: M-Indicator

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