Nana Chudasama is very known name to Mumbaikar. Constantly in the lime light for his catchy, popular and thought stimulating banners which appear regularly at Marine Drive which he has now been writing for a record breaking more than 40 years, a feat which deserves an entry in the Guinness Book of World Record.
I spent my childhood in Girgaum, south Mumbai. Whenever we used to go at Marine Drive for fun, we see banner with a message. As a kid, I never understood why people observe that banner and comment positively or negatively. However, banner catches the attention of pedestrians. The banner became the talk of the town after new message appears on it. Now, even I love to read the message, if I’m in the town side.
“Pen is mightier than sword…. Agitate, debate but don’t vandalise”, very simple but yet very meaningful slap to those so called self declared custodians of Mumbai. Nana’s banners are not only thought-provoking but they force you to think and reason. Marine Drive banners embedded in satire, puns and humour and a voice of the common man. The banner speaks volumes about the dreams and anguish of the common man; the words reveal feelings of most of the common citizen of this mega city.
Nana, a very high profiled yet simple man, gives sense of belonging to every Mumbaikar and exactly that is what is seen in his daughter Shaina NC. They know the importance to be a voice of common man and stay connected with them. Nana’s forefathers have contributed a lot to the glory of Mumbai city and they are legends of their time.
He was conferred with the title of Padma Shree by the President of India on March 26th, 2005 in a splendid inauguration ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi for contribution towards the welfare of the society as a committed social worker. Nana was the pioneer of the only India based social service organization Giants International which now has over hundreds of groups existing all over the world. This organization was solely started by him with service to humanity as its main objective. Besides projects done in various fields such as Family welfare, Disaster Management programmes during earthquakes, floods, and other National calamities, Environmental projects, support to the differently abled, Medical, Educational and Water Harvesting Projects, he has motivated all the Giants members to take up Family Planning programmes in their areas.
In fact, he has introduced Family Planning as top priority project for Giants and has instituted a number of Awards for Groups achieving the target operations to be carried out in their area. In the past, he has initiated 38,000 family planning operations which are certified. He has also initiated numerous awareness and educational camps in slum areas for Family Planning. In the coming years, he has a target of completing 50,000 operations.
He is from a noted family of the Gondal, Dist. Rajkot, Gujarat. His father, Mansingh Chudasama, was a police commissioner. Nana was second of three brothers, his elder brother the late Mota Chudasama being a noted businessman, and his younger brother Chota being associated with Air India for many years. Nana after graduation started his career in the early 1950s as an executive in a US petroleum company in Mumbai. He also managed an apartment at Prithviraj Chambers, on Narayan Dabholkar Road in the elite Nepean Sea Road area.
During his term as Sheriff, he also started the Forum Against Drugs and Aids and is the President of this center for prevention of Drug Abuse and Aids. He was the pioneer in organizing Drugs Abuse Awareness, through public support and medical assistance as well as providing cure through rehabilitation programme. A hospital for the purpose was founded called The Bhardawadi Hospital for the cure of drug addicts. Free Test for HIV is also carried out at the centre and those found HIV+ are given free medicine and counseling. He has also initiated in producing a film on Aids Awareness called ‘Roshini’. Nana is also the president of “I Love Mumbai” which he founded when he was Sheriff of Mumbai. The organization focuses on the greening, beautification and cleaning of Mumbai. Clean Mumbai, Green Mumbai, has been the slogan coined by Nana. ‘I Love Mumbai’ has been distributing 50,000 free saplings annually, to make Mumbai green and reduce the pollution in the atmosphere. He has taken up a number of projects towards the beautification and cleanliness of the city, the major one being the protection, upkeep and illumination of heritage buildings. In recognition of his achievements in his term as Sheriff, he created history by being the only Sheriff to continue in the office for the second consecutive year in 1990.
Mumbai needs people like Nana to take care of the city and its people. His services to the welfare of mankind are worth applauding. At this age too, he is active and concerned about the city. His daughter Shaina, a BJP spokesperson too is doing justice to her father’s dreams by serving people under his guidance.
May you live king size life Nana, we the team of Afternoon Voice wishes you many happy returns of the day. Happy Birthday, stay blessed Nana.