A few distance away from the iconic Bandra Bandstand, which has been declared as one of the 17 tourist spots in Mumbai, Carter Road bustled with activity on the World Environment Day – Children engrossed in craft making and painting – putting in their creative instincts in the craft paper and a band of musicians on stage set to welcome celebrities and dignitaries.
This open space with beautiful gardens and meandering walkways developed through the funds by various politicians and celebrities over the years was a perfect setting to mark the celebration. The Queen of Suburbs- Bandra has a lot to offer. And yes adjacent to the Promenade on the Southern end of Bandra Bandstand are slums which are growing seamlessly.
The celebration, however, might not be of relevance to these people but the euphoria and the excitement were all pervasive and gradually started picking up as celebrities thronged the venue. Names like Priya Dutt, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, Prasoon Joshi, Poonam Dhillon, Kunal Ganjawala complemented the glitterati, on the occasion. People around were pleasantly surprised to get a glimpse of their favourite stars, all at one place.
On the occasion, Environment Minister Sachin Ahir made an appeal to the citizens to develop civic sense and carry forward the legacy to their future generations. The need for civic sense in this era, when industrialization and environmental consciousness go hand in hand, he said should not be ignored as it has a bearing on the way we perceive nature and treat it.
Music is a powerful medium to express and communicate sentiments. And the message to generate environment friendliness and consciousness came out realistically with the release of a music album titled – ‘Humko Hai Asha’ composed by Prasoon Joshi. Followed with this, dignitaries were given saplings by the organisers – Bhamla Foundation and Eagle Brigade. Eco-friendly bags were also distributed made by school children.
Despite all the celebration and rhetoric, it is ironical that development has not fulfilled the obligation to protect the treasure trove that mother earth is. The message came out loud with the soothing song played in the background sung by Shankar Mahadevan. It is not only about being ethical to environment and protecting it but it also has a legal aspect to it. Laws are in place but the need is to plug the gap between enactment & enforcement, planning & implementation, and knowledge & consciousness.