Planned much before the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, the 52 week-long Clean Aarey campaign registered a major boost from the ongoing Abhiyan when initiated on November 2. Over 350 people including 75 from MCGM P South Ward (BMC), 40 cyclists from Team Bike Shark, around 100 from Aarey Morning Walkers Club Save Aarey Community and 25 VBI – “Volunteer for better India” Members, Students, Children, participated on the very first day of campaign doing their bit to Clean Aarey milk colony which has a largest green cover in this part of Mumbai.
The MCGM team led by Asst. Commisioner, Ramakant Biradar, and the MLA, Ravindra Waiker who came with the corporators, also actively participated in the campaign and assured their support for the cause in future toos. He also promised to contribute ₹5 lacs immediately to install dustbins in various locations of Aarey while roaming around all the major hotspots. A team of 10 from L&T Construction also participated.
Major hotspot of dumping was cleaned up by MCGM staffers around Aarey Market, Picnic Spot, Madrasi Pada Dairy No 7, Lotus Pond, Dairy number 10 and 13. The people who joined were really committed and did a thorough job of cleaning the forest floor. Gutkha packets and other sachet items are the worst, accumulating in the thousands. Motorists and passer-by eat the gutkha and fling the packet outside. With signages, dustbins, fines and more importantly continuous clean up in keeping with broken window theory Aarey can be made spic and span.
The core team participating in the event are: MCGM team led by Ramakant Biradar , Manish Sethi and Manish Gadia from Save Aarey community, Rishi Agrawal – Environment Activist, Kamlesh Dalal / D P Agrawal /Mansukh Shah – Walkers Club.
Manish Sethi, Promoter and CEO, Dream Space India who initiated the entire campaign said, “Aarey is the most beautiful green area in Mumbai and deserves the best treatment and not neglect and exploitation or degradation. To revitalise the beauty of the colony we have come up with this 52 week-long program. The first day was a highly successful event mainly because of massive involvement of all segments from government, public and the NGOS. Envisaging a long term plan, we have also urged MCGM and Government to consider a permanent garbage solution to make Aarey completely clean always. This would involve jointly working with Aarey well-wishers (Save Aarey Community, Aarey Morning Walkers Club etc). The Team has 52 Week plan to monitor the same where a series of suggestions will be handed over to MCGM. We have also urged the Government/BMC to repair Main Aarey Road & also all Aarey Internal Roads. This would lead to reduction of Accidents in Aarey.”
“We hope to continue the momentum, with the planned 52 week-long campaign, called 2015: Clean Aarey Year. We need volunteers looking to contribute to Aarey for a long term. We only need 2 hours a week and that too in rotation basis. So for all that you know it would be only 2-4 hours a month,” added Manish.