After playing role of social reformist, artiste picks up broom to spread message | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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After playing role of social reformist, artiste picks up broom to spread message

Gadge Maharaj (1876-1956) was a saint and social reformer from Maharashtra.

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2018 00:35 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
Sant Gadge Maharaj,Thane,Kalyan
Sagar Todkar sweeps the road in Kalyan.(Rishikesh Choudhary )

Fifteen years ago when Sagar Todkar, 45, a mimicry artiste from Kalyan played the character of Sant Gadge Maharaj in a play, he never thought he would adopt the social reformer’s way of living life. Since then, Todkar is doing exactly what the civic authorities are doing under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign – promote cleanliness.

A resident of Milindnagar, Kalyan (West), Todkar has been sweeping the area where he lives and his nearby places, ensuring cleanliness there for the past 15 years. Every year, he also conducts a one-week campaign from February 17 to 23 on cleanliness across the city on the occasion of Sant Gadge Maharaj Jayanthi, which is marked on February 23.

Gadge Maharaj (1876-1956) was a saint and social reformer from Maharashtra. He lived in voluntary poverty and wandered to different villages promoting social justice and initiating reforms, especially related to sanitation during his time.

“I was always inspired by his story and his fondness towards cleanliness. One day I was asked to play his character and I never thought I will adopt his style of life. Today, cleanliness is my God,” said Todkar, who also motivates others to join his work.

Nagsen Madhukar Ghangav, 35, a friend of Todkar said, “For the past five years, I have also joined his initiative of cleaning the city. He is very dedicated to his work. I support his initiatives as his intention is to just promote cleanliness”.

Todkar’s works related to cleanliness involves sweeping streets, meeting people and spreading awareness by cleaning their premises, cleaning the statues installed at chowks and cleaning roads in Adivasi villages.

“There is a vast difference between spreading awareness by words and actually motivating others to take up the job by doing it yourself. I always choose the latter. I don’t feel like sweeping is a low profile work. I do it out of my passion and I always respect the work,” added Todkar.

This year too, Todkar has begun his annual one-week long cleanliness drive in the city. On Friday, he swept the streets at Ambedkar Udyan, Kalyan (West).

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 00:35 IST