Sachin Tendulkar launches project to develop the poorest ward in Mumbai
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday launched Mission-24 — a programme aimed at improving the quality of life in one of Mumbai’s poorest wards through collaborative efforts in the next 24 months.
Under Mission-24, efforts will be made to provide basic amenities to residents of M-East ward that includes slums of Shivaji Nagar, Deonar and Mankhurd. Through this project, the organisations aim to provide amenities like secondary schools and colleges, aanganwadis, maternity homes, health posts and dispensaries in the ward. It also aims to improve sanitation, create more open spaces and look at commuter safety.
The area ranks the lowest in human development index (HDI) among all the 24 administrative wards of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The project was launched by NGO Apnalaya and Mumbai First in partnership with the BMC. At a press conference at BMC’s office, Tendulkar emphasised on working collectively for the less privileged sections of the society. “It really disturbs me that M-East ranks the lowest in the human development index. This [Mission-24] is a step in the right direction to find solutions and make Mumbai a better place to live in,” said Tendulkar.
The Swachch Bharat ambassador also emphasised on the need to segregate waste in the city. Apnalaya CEO Arun Kumar said they have already earmarked locations where the infrastructure can be developed.
According to reports submitted by Apnalaya (in February), the HDI in the M-East ward is 0.05 as compared to Kurla, which at rank 23, is 0.29. The ward has no hospitals, no maternity homes and it survives on one dispensary and 4 health posts.
The ward that lacks in several basic amenities has 77% of its population living in slums. It is also near the toxic Deonar dumping ground which makes residents susceptible to various ailments.
A six-member committee that recommended on the city’s Development Plan (DP) 2034 has also suggested a risk-assessment for the ward.
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Tuesday emphasised on the need for citizen partnership in the city. Mehta said, “We agree that it is BMC’s responsibility to provide amenities and we are doing it but through this project, the administration would like to emphasise at the importance of building citizen partnership to make the city a better place.”