Mumbai gets its first woman citizen candidate

Hina Shroff is the chosen candidate by residents of Vile Parle West to contest forthcoming BMC polls


Geetanjali Minhas | November 14, 2011

52 year old social worker Hina Shroff has became first women candidate chosen by residents of Vile Parle West to contest forthcoming BMC polls in February 2012. Shroff was elected from amongst four nominees including Maya Mehta, Vaishali Mehta and Nikita Shah in municipal ward No. 65 reserved for women.

A panel consisting of Dr Sindhu Daftary, owner of a nursing home in Juhu, activist Vimal Thakore and father Alex Carvalho, parish priest (St  Xaviers’s Church, Vile Parle), 27 Area Sabha Representatives and 75 local citizens grilled  candidates on their plans for their constituency, response to various civic problems that plague the area and felicity with languages including problems of  footpath, roads ,encroachments, garbage healthcare, sanitation and slum issues.

In a process inspired by Nagar Raj Bill that was passed by Maharashtra state assembly in 2009, this model of local governance first established in Juhu in 2007.

“The ideology of Mumbai Nagrik Manch, the forum that held nominations is based on three principles of PAT- participation, accountability and transparency” says Hansel D Souza, convenor of MNM, who along with local residents gave the city its first citizen backed candidate, Adolph D'Souza.

MNM aims to have good independents and put in place effective teams of around 30 ASRs in each ward to ensure efficient service delivery to citizens and provide an interface between local municipal administrators and citizens. It will set up Citizen Help Centres in each municipal ward to attend to local civic issues.

When asked to explain the difference between MNM and Mumbai 227, a newly formed group to select citizens candidates, Hansel  explained, “ our experience shows us  choosing a good person does not necessarily mean good governance. Dr Manmohan Singh is  one of the finest persons you can find in the country, very honest  with best credentials. But that does not mean he has given good governance. You can check that out from Tihar jail. Similarly in Juhu we put up our local corporator Adolf D Souza who is a non corrupt but he could not carry out the model. 33 ASR‘s  that set up dwindled down to 3 and we  did not get good governance. Our approach is ‘bottoms up’ while  that of Mumbai 227 is ‘top to bottom.”

MNM will elect  5 candidates in areas like  Mahim Chembur and Borivali and further received invitations from areas like Mulund and Chinchpokli to set up the model in those areas. the selected candidate will not be independent but function as a team ina stronger ward committee.



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