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How Mumbai celebrated India’s 75th anniversary of Independence

ByPratip Acharya and Linah Baliga, Mumbai
Aug 16, 2022 05:54 AM IST

The Zaver Mahal building, where Gupta resides, was illuminated backed by BMC’s logistics. Gupta and other residents arranged for the power supply.

The entire city seemed to have draped the colours of the Indian flag in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence from British rule. Housing societies as well as stand-alone residential buildings joined in with equal fervour and diligence.

Mumbai, India - August 15, 2022: Students of Anjuman-E-Islam School and College celebrate 75th Independence Day, at CSMT, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, August 15, 2022. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

Over the past one month, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) supplied more than 41 lakh national flags to several households and commercial establishments in Mumbai, lending a boost to the union ministry’s call of Har-Ghar Tiranga.

Consequently, national flags were all aflutter from windows and verandahs of Mumbai houses; and as dusk fell, high-rises, bungalows and hutments were lit up in the tricolour. Commercial and industrial establishments also joined in.

Crowds thronged the heritage precinct of Marine Drive since midnight of August 15. “The entire street was filled with people, as everyone seemed to have been touched by the spirit of festivity. As this was the first major Independence Day after lockdown, people from across the city and districts visited the Marine Drive promenade,” said Ashok Gupta, a resident of Marine Drive and vice president of Marine Drive Citizen’s Association (MDCA).

The Zaver Mahal building, where Gupta resides, was illuminated backed by BMC’s logistics. Gupta and other residents arranged for the power supply.

Parag Udani, a Cuffe Parade resident, and member of the Association of Churchgate and Cuffe Parade Residents (ACCPR), said that all the housing societies and residential buildings in his locality held flag hoisting ceremonies in the morning, following which patriotic songs were played.

“There has been a strong response to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. All the buildings were lit up since last Friday and the neighbourhood had a festive spirit,” said Udani.

Malabar Hill, the otherwise silent zone of Mumbai, equally woke up to the fervour. After flag hoisting ceremonies, blood donation camps were organised in several places across the neighbourhood.

“This is the first big I-Day after the pandemic induced lockdown. It propelled people from all walks of life to come together in celebration. This year’s celebrations have set a benchmark for generations to come on how the day must be commemorated,” said Vinay Punjabi, from the Nepean Sea Road Citizen’s Forum (NPSRF).

In Andheri West citizens held a plantation drive in the early hours of Independence Day. Dhaval Shah, founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association (LOCA), and a local resident, said that all the tall buildings in their locality were illuminated by the BMC.

“There are nearly 500 residential buildings affiliated with us – almost all had a flag hoisting ceremony. Besides this, members from our forum arranged a plantation drive in a local BMC garden, along with school children,” Shah said.

Meanwhile, civic officials have decided to illuminate at least one sky scrapper that has an unhindered view in every municipal ward with the tricolour.

Over 12,000 residents from Thakur Village, Kandivali East, participated in Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Such was their enthusiasm that 200 housing societies invested 20 lakh without help from the civic body. Five thousand students and 7000 residents held a 550-metre-long tricolour, which was carried for 2kms from Thakur College of Science and Commerce to Nature’s Basket Circle. Senior citizens too joined in the revelry and were felicitated with embossed silver coins.

Eighty women bikers rode pillion with other women as they hit the streets at 6:30 am to wake up the residents of Thakur village. It was a part of a Jan Jagruti exercise.

Rahul Tangri, chairman, Thakur Village Cultural and Sports Association, and Nisha Parulekar, part of Soch Sayani group, spearheaded the mahotsav in Thakur Village, contributing from their own pockets.

“The traffic police and cops took good care of us. No inconvenience was caused to anyone. It was a superhit event, and we were awash with a feeling of patriotism when we carried the flag. The seniors too joined in on wheelchairs. We felicitated retired army officers, and the flag hoisting was done by our conservancy workers,” said Tangri.

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