To mark the occasion of India's 71 years of Independence, Republic TV celebrates the unsung heroes of the nation through its special broadcast - 'Heroes of India'. During the show, Republic TV spoke to two heroes, who are on a mission to counter the menace of unsafe roads in Mumbai.
Mumbai is a victim of heavy rains and dangerous potholes, leading to fatal accidents - a situation which is typical during every monsoon in the Maximum City. Given these circumstances, two Mumbaikars, Mohd. Irrfan Macchiwala and Mushtaq Ansari, have joined forces by taking matters into their own hands.
Without any prior training or proper equipment, these two civilians have undertaken the task of filling potholes using mud and concrete mix. Along with that, they have also levelled the uneven rough patches along the West Express Highway.
Irrfan and Mushtaq began the campaign in April this year, after months of failed attempts to gauge the attention of the authorities to fix the situation. Speaking to Republic TV, these pothole warriors claim to have taken up the initiative as part of their social responsibility.
"I noticed that because of potholes, many people of lost their lives. According to reports, almost 960 people have already lost their lives due to potholes in areas like Thane and Navi Mumbai. The idea first sparked my mind when i was passing through the Western Express Highway. Upon which, we noticed potholes that were almost 6-8 inch deep. Given the recent mishaps due this problem, we realised that even we could be victims of such accidents, " said Ansari.
According to Macchiwala, the government failed to live up to the minimum expectations of Mumbai residents, time and again. He claims to have contacted the concerned authorities regarding the troubling situation, only for his plea to be ignored.
"We have lodged complaints to the Chief Minister's Office, State Urban Development and the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. But they don't seem to be bothered by it, as the complaint undergoes a merry-go-round between different departments," Macchiwala said.
With the government paying no heed to their requests, the duo plans not only to raise awareness about the current state of the roads in Mumbai, but also to inspire citizens of Mumbai and all over the country.
"Now that we've filled around 120 potholes throughout Mumbai, our next objective was to spread awareness about this situation among other citizens