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Cleanliness Drive or a Publicity Event?

Gurmeet Singh had chosen to clean the well maintained MMRDA grounds to garner publicity.

Ram-RahimTaking a leaf out of Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh the spiritual head of Dera Sacha Sauda had organized a cleanliness drive at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex. The drive was scheduled to begin at 9 am but Gurmeet Singh arrived at the venue at 9:30 am. Till then the volunteers were resting in the buses they had arrived in. Why did Gurmeet chose to hold the cleanliness drive at MMRDA grounds as it is already clean? He could have instead held this programme at Dharavi or Malwani where more garbage is accumulated. What is the intention behind holding a cleanliness drive in Mumbai as he could have held it in his home state too? He also had spent huge money by booking advertisements in newspapers about the event. His hoardings too were visible at prominent locations of the city.

When Gurmeet Singh arrived on the stage, all volunteers were called as they carried brooms, cultivator and shovels. He welcomed all of them. He took a broom and began sweeping the area which was already clean and started posing for photographs with celebrities like Poonam Dhillon, Vindu Dara Singh and Udit Narayan.

Gurmeet Singh then inaugurated the event with ballons and flags and asked the volunteers to clean the MMRDA Grounds which was already clean as many events are held there.

Ashok Tamhane, a Khar resident said, “Gurmeet Singh had invited celebrities and posed for photographs with them. This only goes to show that he was more interested in garnering publicity.”

Vishal Solanki, a Vile Parle resident said, “Mr Singh could have held this programme in slum areas of the city which are very unhygienic. The MMRDA ground is already well maintained why should he organise an event there?”

The volunteers started sweeping the ground in a left-right direction having no idea about which area they should clean. Later, they started using the shovels to dig up the ground. Meanwhile, Gurmeet Singh was busy posing for photographs and interacting with the media along with the celebrities present on the stage.

Harpreet Singh said, “The volunteers had deliberately thrown waste at the MMRDA grounds to clean the area. Later, Gurmeet Singh had sweeped the area and posed for photographs to seek publicity.”

Only few volunteers were seen sweeping the ground while others had merely accompanied them for a trip to Mumbai. Many of them were seen resting inside the buses.

At around 10:50 am, Gurmeet Singh delivered a vote of thanks speech and once again posed with the celebrities and got down from the stage. Later, his volunteers began rushing towards the buses and dumped the entire garbage on the ground.

Gurmeet Singh left the venue accompanied by his volunteers at around 11.15 am. No volunteer from Maharashtra or nearby states were visible as participants were called from Punjab and Haryana.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurmeet_Ram_Rahim_Singh

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2624694/Controversial-rape-accused-guru-Ram-Rahim-aims-internet-fame-rock-bhajan.html

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-jungle-getaway-for-controversial-godman/article4479671.ece

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/dera-sacha-sauda-gurmeet-ram-rahim-insan-2002-rape-case-sexual-intercourse-panchkula-court/1/343208.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc4_KvqPrWc

http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Gurmit_Ram_Rahim

http://ibnlive.in.com/newstopics/gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh.html

Akshay Redij
Akshay is a Digital Editor and Photojournalist with Afternoon Voice for the last 6 years. Writes mostly on Civic issues, Politics and Technology.

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