Go to most major Indian cities and you’ll see the same thing. Huge billboards (called hoardings) filled with politicians’ faces. According to one estimate, around 21,000 hoardings came up on public property in Mumbai in January. They’re not legal. But, like many things in India, police turn a blind eye to them because they have political backing.
The hoardings celebrate everything from politicians’ birthdays to appointments to cabinet, or visits of dignitaries to the city. No one is interested in seeing their moustached faces every day but it’s difficult to bring about change. The High Court has ruled against the unlawful use of public space, the municipal council has pulled down hundreds of thousands of hoardings, and the new Chief Minister has spoken against their erection. But nothing has changed. The presence of hoardings continues to be tolerated in Mumbai.
In hopes of getting ride of the unsightly menace, spurred on by former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, the Mumbai Mirror has launched a campaign against hoardings. After counting 68 hoardings on his way to the Cricket Club of India from Prabhadevi, Sanjay snapped and decided that enough is enough. He’s meeting with Congress party’s Kripashankar Singh to see what can be done about the matter. “Nothing changes because we don’t demand a change,” Sanjay says.
If you want to support the campaign, email: email@example.com, with ‘banner campaign’ in the subject line.
Let’s hope it brings about a cleaner, more attractive, city!
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