In Mumbai, give up Lungi and wear pants to be noticed

September 16th, 2008 - 4:04 pm ICT by ANI  

By Karen D”Souza

Mumbai, Sep.16 (ANI): A Worli-based social organisation in Mumbai, has given a clarion call asking its members to avoid wearing traditional wrap around, locally called “Lungi” and instead start wearing pants.

The main contention stated behind the step is to motivate organisation’’s members who are from Uttar Pradesh to wear pants so that local authorities take them seriously

“Lungi Choro, Pant Pehno” (Give up wrap around, wear pants) campaign is being carried out here by Mohammed Abdul Hamid Yuva Pratishthan (MAHYP), the social organisation.

“The Lungi is comfortable wear while going to sleep but most of our members wear it even during the day projecting a bad image about our people,” says Akhlaque Khan, founder of Mohammed Abdul Hamid Yuva Pratishthan.

Besides, some locals maintain that finding any Lungi-clad individual at pubic places looks uncomfortable, as at times it is tied around indecently.

Sunil Shrivastava, a Worli resident, said: “Even in the village, when people step out to travel to nearby towns, they avoid lungis. Then why should they walk around wearing a lungi in a big city like Mumbai?”

“After discussions, we launched a ”Lungi Choro Abhiyaan” (Quit Lungi campaign) and asked members to instead wear trousers or shorts. Those above the age of 40 have been given more time for the transition but youngsters have been told to ensure that they wear a lungi only at night,” says Shahid Khan, a member of the organisation.

Moreover, the office bearers of the Mohammed Abdul Hamid Yuva Pratishthan contend that the local authorities including the police do not treat people wearing Lungis with dignity, especially those coming to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

“The idea to give such a call was mooted by the founder of MAHYP. It was felt as the living standards and public perception in Mumbai have advanced so it was needed to convey the new requirements to the people from rural areas in the city. It would make them more acceptable by authorities and society. We can”t say that it will be 100 per cent successful. It will take time as we just started it’’s a slow process,” said Manoj Jaiswal, advisor, Mohammed Abdul Hamid Yuva Pratishthan, Mumbai.

The step adapted by the organisation is hoped to inspire various migrants arriving in Mumbai from rural parts of the States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to avoid wearing Lungis and gain due respect and acceptability in the city among locals.

Members of the MAHYP feel that authorities and police often avoid helping them due to their outfit.

Initially, the organisation faced resistance but members are now coming around to the idea of discarding the Lungi.

“I used to wear lungi all the time, but now I see the situation as it is. I do not feel like wearing them anymore. So I decided to change my outfit. I”ve started wearing pants. To be acceptable in society and gain recognition by authorities I decided to change my appearance,” said Akhlaque Khan, member MAHYP.

However, the members of the organisation have started keeping a vigil on people to ensure the order is complied by all. Members of organisation, who are from Uttar Pradesh, however, have even gone to the extent of tearing off the Lungis of those who refuse to follow the diktat issued 10 days ago.

The forum was originally established as a tribute to the martyr, Company Havaldar Major Abdul Hamid of the Indian Army who had single-handedly immobilised Pakistan Army’’s tanks in 1965 Indo-Pak war.

Abdul Hamid hailed from a remote village in Bihar. (ANI)

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