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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Art Street: In swish Lokhandwala area, a statue that salutes safai kamgars

The statue of the safai kamgar, complete with a cap, vest, gumboots and broom, busy mopping the street standing atop a pedestal was thought of by local BJP corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar.

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai |
January 22, 2022 12:10:18 pm
The statue of a safai kamgar in Lokhandwala.

Walking around in the posh area of Lokhandwala, the statue of a safai kamgar stands out amidst high-end hotels and fancy shops catering to the latest trends. While the statue, which came up in 2019, has seen better times and is in need of upkeep, it is a reminder to the bustling crowd about the people who help keep the city clean.

The statue of the safai kamgar, complete with a cap, vest, gumboots and broom, busy mopping the street standing atop a pedestal was thought of by local BJP corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar. Given that he is an animator, he first visualised the statue and then used his funds – Rs 5 lakh — to get the statue erected at the Lokhandwala Complex on the Kavi Ram Basakhetre Road.

Talking to The Indian Express about his idea behind the statue, Dabhadkar said that it was a tribute to the sweepers who help keep the city clean. “Generally, people in the city wake up and leave for their offices and find the city clean. It is because of the sweepers that the city is clean. However, they generally go unseen by the people at large. Hence, this was our effort to ensure that the sweepers are remembered for the tiring work they do day in and day out,” Dabhadkar said.

Adding that this was a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Dabhadkar said, “Generally across the city if you see, there will be statues of idols or sports stars or some designs. In that sense, this statue is unique that it celebrates the safai kamgars.” He added that after the statue came up, several safai kamgars from his ward thanked him profusely and said that they do their work with a lot more passion as they feel encouraged.

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Dabhadkar, however, agrees that the statue currently is not in the best possible condition. “During the lockdown, the fencing that was constructed around the statue was stolen. It also needs some upkeep. We are planning to soon look into the issue and take necessary steps for its upkeep,” he said.

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