Cricket maestro Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray and others picked up brooms to sweep parts of Bandra here on Tuesday, earning praise directly from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The move follows a recent appeal by Modi to prominent personalities urging them to take part in the renewed sanitation drive ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’, launched for a fortnight as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’s third anniversary on October 2.
Tendulkar, accompanied by son Arjun and Thackeray, along with Rahul Kanal of ‘I Love Mumbai’ NGO, trooped out with brooms around 5 a.m. in Bandra to attempt a clean sweep.
They joined the BrihanMumbai conservancy staffers to haul garbage near Bandra Fort and take it in trash bins for disposal.
“We each have to do our bit to keep India Clean. So, pick a group of friends, a street and together let’s clean up India. Swachhata Hi Seva,” said Tendulkar on the occasion.
The Rajya Sabha MP said he was taken aback to see so much garbage at “every foot” on the roadside and appealed to people to use garbage bins to dispose of the waste.
“Nobody throws garbage in their own homes… They always say the ‘kachrawala’ will come and clean up. They are not ‘kachrawala’ but ‘safaiwala’. Cleanliness is not the duty of only the ‘safaiwala’ (conservancy workers) but also our responsibility,” Tendulkar told the media.
“Swachh Bharat will lead to Swasth (healthy) Bharat. If we maintain cleanliness, there will be good health,” he said.
Sachin also made an humble appeal to all people to use only garbage bins which are kept at regular intervals and contribute to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Thackeray pointed out how the BMC sweepers work tirelessly day and night to keep Mumbai clean.
“Today, Sachin Tendulkar and I tried to give them a hand. While cleaning up, realised once again that in terms of garbage, plastic and thermocol pose the biggest problems for Mumbai,” Thackeray said of his experience.
He declared “it’s up to us to keep our city clean, not littering and segregating garbage the solutions to achieve that”.
Noticing the early morning efforts, Modi sent out congratulatory tweets later on Tuesday to both Tendulkar and his son, and Thackeray.
“The continued commitment of Sachin towards a Swachh Bharat is deeply appreciable. People across India will be inspired by his efforts,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that he was happy to see wide-scale participation by youngsters, including Arjun (Tendulkar), and said “our Yuva Shakti will make a Swachh Bharat”.
“I congratulate my young friend Aditya Thackeray for participating in a cleanliness initiative in Mumbai and adding momentum to Swachhata Hi Seva,” Modi said in another tweet.
In the past few days, several celebrities, ministers, sports personalities and others have come forward to pledge support towards making India cleaner and greener.
Among them are actors Rajinikanth, Anushka Sharma and Anil Kapoor, sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik and cricketers Jhulan Goswami and Ajinkya Rahane, among others.