To ensure a safe Ganpati visarjan,360 lifeguards from different private NGOs have offered free service to Mumbai Fire Brigade. This is the first time that the lifeguards are joining hands to man the beaches during immersion.
Most of these lifeguards will be posted at Girgaum and Dadar chowpatties,said Suraj Walavalkar of Jal Suraksha Dal whose 150 lifeguards will be engaged on all four visarjan days. Hundred volunteers from Girgaum Chowpatty Lifeguard Association,50 from H2O Marine Drive and 60 from Mumbai Port Trust will also be involved. In the past,these organisations have worked separately during Ganeshotsav and other festivals. This is the first time volunteers and private lifeguards are coming together and have promised services as part of the 10-day festival. While the fire brigade deploys lifeguards during visarjan,these volunteers are better trained and more experienced in handling crowds, said Naresh Dahibawkar,chairman of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Samanvay Samiti.
Walawalkar said they had approached BMC for safety equipment such as floaters and watch lights. We hope the civic body helps us on visarjan days as we lack good safety equipment, he said.