The Powai Lake, which is known to attract millions of visitors every year, is inevitably left behind with souvenirs in the form of garbage on its lakefront. On Saturday, however, 200 cyclists pedaled to the eastern end of the lake, marched in with brooms and cleaned this iconic tourist spot.
Students from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) in Matunga and members of the Bandra Cycle Club, along with residents, cleaned the two-kilometre eastern stretch of the lakefront as a part of the Hindustan Times Clean My Mumbai initiative.
The cyclists started at 7.30am from R-city Mall in Ghatkopar and pedaled for an hour to reach their destination. After a 12-kilometre ride, the participants immediately suited up in masks and rubber gloves.
“We are emphasising on a healthy and clean Mumbai and so cycling to the lake seemed to be the perfect way to achieve both,” said Vishal Sharma, founder of Bandra Cycle Club and a co-organiser of the drive. “The lakefront has provided space for so many activities and now it is our turn to give something back,” he added.
Motivated by the concept of students getting involved in a drive to clean the city, Professor Bhalachandra Tembe, who teaches at the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, joined the initiative. “For every three people who are littering, there should be thousand such volunteers cleaning. Only then will realisation dawn on those who dirty public places,” he said.
Aman Chheda, a student of ICT, believes that the experience of cleaning such public places will sensitise people to the difficulties that the civic body faces to keep public places clean.
“Cleaning this place was extremely challenging for even 200 people and I am sure everybody here will think twice before they even throw a piece of paper,” she said.
For the residents of Powai, the drive proved to be a wake-up call. VS Shinde,40, said, “When people from other areas can do such good work in our locality, it is important that we take it up as well. As residents, if we could volunteer to clean our areas every 15 days, we can clean not just Powai but the entire city.”