Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar is ready to pad up once again. Only this time he will be batting for the cause of a 'Swachh Mumbai'. He will now help the BMC raise awareness about waste segregation.
The master blaster visited the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) M/East ward office on Friday to interact with municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta on the issue of the city's solid waste management. After the meeting, Tendulkar agreed to help the BMC raise awareness about waste segregation. The meeting was arranged between the BMC and Apanalaya, an NGO run by Sachin's mother-in-law Annabelle Mehta.
Sachin Tendulkar at the meeting with BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta
Multiple fires have broken out at the city's Deonar dumping ground and after the last one in March, the BMC tightened security and banned entry to ragpickers. City based NGO Apnalaya, which works for the rights of ragpickers and other economically weaker sections, had then approached an American company to prepare a report on the question of Deonar. After a month's work, the company completed the report and submitted it to the BMC on Friday.
Sachin Tendulkar leaves the BMC office after the meeting.
The meeting had been organised to discuss waste segragation and Tendulkar gave the BMC officials a pleasant surprise by coming for it.
"Sachin spoke about the problems at Deonar and the neighbouring areas and once again appealed to the administration to do something about it. He has extended all his help wherever required. I have therefore asked him to help us create awareness about waste segregation. His word will have a lot of impact," informed municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta.
About entry to ragpickers, the NGO has demanded that they be allowed inside Deonar dumping yard again since their livelihood depends on it. The BMC wants to convert the dump into a restricted area. It is planning to have compulsory identification cards for these ragpickers through RFID tags. It is also planning to take the help of local police for this purpose. The ragpickers are, therefore, not being allowed inside as of now.
Sachin sat through the entire 2.5-hour presentation and even signed autographs for people afterwards.
The meeting took place after Sachin wrote a letter to the BMC in March this year regarding the problems faced by slum-dwellers residing near the Deonar dumping ground. The letter was written following an incident of fire in Deonar dumping ground in Mumbai.
Apanalaya is an Non-Governmental Organization, founded by Tendulkar's mother-in-law Anabelle Mehta, and works with communities and their development issues in and around Deonar and Shivaji Nagar.