Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a Swachh Bharat, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar picked a broom, spade and mattock and cleared garbage in a filthy locality in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Urging fellow sportspersons to join Modi's Swach Bharat Abhiyan', he posted a video on a social networking site displaying his efforts to clean the locality "dumped with litter and garbage".
"@ImZaheer , @NSaina , Sardar Singh , Atul Ranade, @atulkasbekar , please spread the word .. Swachh Bharat Hi Sach Bharat Hai (Clean India is real India)!" Tendulkar wrote on his twitter handle. As the sun rose, the 41-year-old was joined by hordes of people in his efforts.
"The footpath on the road opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot was not being used by pedestrians as it was dumped with litter and garbage and covered with wild growth. In fact, the footpath was being misused as a place to answer nature's call!!" read his post on Facebook.
It added: "With a team of friends who volunteered with me, we started early in the morning to ensure minimal disruption to public and motorists. With broomsticks, spade (fawda), mattock (kudal), we started our contribution towards the Swachh Bharat initiative. Within an hour, we were joined by some rickshaw drivers who were curiously watching us till then.
"After two hours of continuous efforts, we still were far from half done. The wild growth needed special attention and we decided to get some help during the day. It was also decided we needed to beautify the place so that locals are encouraged to maintain the footpath."
Tendulkar got to know of the harsh reality - the challenges facing them in their endeavour - the next day.
"The following morning we had to clean the dump and litter which had been dumped during the previous day. It was frustrating but also indicated the reality of the challenge that this endeavour was going to face.
"After the clean up, we decided to paint the compound wall adjoining the footpath. We also coordinated with the local municipal corporator, who was enthusiastic in his response to put up plants, benches and solar lighting.
"The Mumbai Police also extended its support by ensuring that no illegal parking happens along the footpath," Tendulkar's Facebook post said.
Insisting that he is committed to do more, the iconic cricketer urged everyone to watch the video, which captures the effort of the team.