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Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar here today launched 'Mission-24', a programme aimed at improving the quality of life in Mumbai civic body's M East ward, which houses one of highest slum population in the city. During the launch, Tendulkar said the responsibility to keep Mumbai clean lies with everyone and not only with the BMC alone. 'Mission 24', a project by NGOs Apnalaya and Mumbai First, aims to transform the M East ward of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) by improving basic amenities like setting up hospitals and schools, water and drainage systems, etc in over 24 months. Apnalaya was founded by Annabel Mehta, Tendulkar's mother-in-law. Speaking on the occasion, Tendulkar said, "I feel that 'Mission 24' is an ambitious journey, but it is not an impossible task to achieve. I believe nothing is impossible in life.
The word impossible says I-am-possible." "After being announced as the Swachh Bharat campaign ambassador, I went to Deonar to see the dumpyard and it was an eye-opener. It is certainly not a pleasing sight to see a 10-storey pile of garbage in front of you," he added. The former cricketer also appealed to the citizens to segregate the garbage at their homes. "The responsibility to keep Mumbai clean lies with everyone and not only with the BMC alone," he said. Of the 24 administrative wards in the city, M-East ward is the most backward in terms of Human Development Indices (HDI), a study carried out by Apnalaya said. Talking about 'Mission-24', Annabel Mehta said, "We can say that this mission was born when our team found the M East ward's survey figures very alarming and decided, as a concerned citizen, to come forward to initiate reforms and found a willing parter in Mumbai First. "We have also garnered the support of many parties, including corporate sponsors, funding agencies, concerned individuals and NGOs," she said. BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta outlined the priorities to be executed in M East ward and thanked the two NGOs for joining hands with the civic body. Expressing confidence that the project will be the "finest successful model", CEO of Mumbai First, Shishir Joshi, said, "We are going to play a significant role in the community outreach as well as joining the dots between civil society participants as well as local and state government." Describing the charter of the project, Apnalaya CEO Dr Arun Kumar said, "We have earmarked basic amenities like hospitals and schools, water and drainage systems, playgrounds and open spaces, commuter safety, sanitation and solid waste management, to which our team would work actively with the BMC and Mumbai First.