RETIRED TIFR TECHNICIAN SPREADS SOCIAL MESSAGE AT VASAI RAILHEAD USING PLACARD
Mumbai:A 68 year old retired technician of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) since the past seven years is moving around Vasai Road railhead using a placard to spread the message of cleanliness, tobacco deaddiction, noise pollution and other messages as per his duty of an alert citizen.
Ramesh Dongre (68,pictured) a resident of Kandivli since 2010 is regularly seen standing on Vasai Road railhead with a banner which advises citizens to give up tobacco addiction, reduce noise pollution, observe traffic rules, organ donation and other social messages.
Dongre retired from the TIFR, Navy Nagar, Colaba in 2010 as a Dental Technician after serving the organisation for 28 years, and since then, he is doing this social awareness campaign. Said Dongre, I regularly visit Vasai to meet my relatives once a week, and whenever I come to Vasai, I make it a point to stand on the platform with my banner to spread my social messages. I stand for an hour or so, and during peak hour rush, I do not stand but walk the entire platform to avoid being crushed by the commuters' rush,said Dongre.
I make it a point to mention organ donation which is a noble cause,said Dongre. My wife, Rama died of breast cancer a few years ago, and as per her last wish, she wanted her body to be donated for research and fulfilling her wish, we donated her body to the KEM Hospital,said Dongre. Even I have made a pledge to donate my body and I always carry an Organ Donation card in my pocket, in case I die, said Dongre. Even my late father had donated his body for medical research and it is the family tradition, which even my two sons, one a classical singer and another a MBA graduate will do so, said Dongre.
I am also stressing on tobacco deaddiction especially,said Dongre. At any given time, one can see a reddish tinge on the railway tracks of any station, thanks to the commuters' spitting tobacco remains on the track, and dirtying the environment,said Dongre. Every third autorickshaw driver is a tobacco addict, and one may have seen them spitting out the tobacco while driving through the streets of Mumbai,he said. Cleanliness and tobacco deaddiction go hand in hand, as if we take steps in tobacco deaddiction, cleanliness is automatically observed, as the empty gutkha satchets which is strewn on the roads is a major contributor to garbage, said Dongre.
I got inspired to take up the social campaign thanks to the Marathi Vigyan Parishad, Mumbai, where they published a booklet on noise pollution and I decided to add a few more pointers to the campaign and thus my banner was ready and without any embarrassment, I stand at Vasai Road station to alert fellow commuters, said Dongre. At times, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel try to shoo me away from the railhead, but I purchase a three month season ticket pass as I commute from Kandivli to Vasai to meet my relative, so the RPF cannot throw me out of the station, for ticketless travelling or trespassing, so instead of standing on the platform during peakhour traffic, I simply walk the length of the railway station with my banner to spread my message,said Dongre.
Even when I was employed with TIFR, I used to hang a small placard around my neck and travel in the crowded local trains from my home to Colaba, daily, so as to spread the message of tobacco deaddiction, organ donation and other cause, said Dongre.
I am taking this campaign as an alert citizen, and as part of his social duty, and will continue to spread my social messages as long as my body permits, said Dongre as a parting sho