It has been six years since Ramesh Dongre retired from work, but the 65-year-old Mumbai resident never stopped working. He took up a second job – that of trying to spread awareness about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in public spaces in a very unique manner.
This cleanliness crusader goes out to stand at the Kandivali station every day, wearing banners with awareness messages written on them. And he has been doing so for the past six years now.
Picture for representation only. Source: Adam Cohn/Flickr
A resident of Chanakya Nagar in Kandivali East, Ramesh comes to the station at around 6:30 am or 5:30 pm each day, and stands at different platforms with his banners.
“If we don’t spit randomly in our homes, then why do we spit at public places that are meant for us only? We should consider the entire country as our home and take it as our duty to keep it clean,” is the message on one of them.
Ramesh retired from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 2010 and lives with his wife and two sons. He started this initiative on January 26, 2011 and his family has supported him throughout.
“After retirement, when I thought about this, my wife also motivated me, but her only concern was that I should not create problems for anyone. She told me that if I wanted to do it, it should be done silently without any trouble to anyone. My sons also appreciated and encouraged my idea,” he told DNA.
When strangers at the station stop to ask what he is doing, Ramesh talks to them to make them understand the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.