Free Press Journal

Mumbai: M-east ward is riddled with unemployment, child marriage

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Mumbai: M-east ward which comprises of Mankhurd, Govandi, Shivaji Nagar and Deonar areas, have people being deprived of even basic amenities making the life of citizens gruesome.

Raees Ansari a resident of Govandi said, “We are living like ants, we do not get basic facilities like water, toilets and roads. Issues like parking, potholes are distant for us.”

The whole area does not have proper water, schools, most residential colonies, mostly slums which have unhygienic conditions with no proper sewage lines. The problems are compounded with the dumping ground in the centre of this area and the never ending fires that spread pollution and living a nightmare.


Ansari added, “Everyday there is a fire in the dumping ground and the people of M east ward are suffering from bronchitis and complain of breathing problems. Sadly, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has no good plans to improve the life conditions of people residing here.”

The untreated medical waste from different hospitals and nursing homes finds a way to the dumping ground, which residents have complained adds to their woes.

The Apnalaya, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has conducted a survey of M-east ward which highlights the various developmental projects that have been suspended in different sectors.

The survey report states that ‘Shivaji Nagar has no nationalised bank and the entire population is dependent on two cooperative banks. Therefore it remains largely off the radar of financial inclusion in one of the biggest commercial metropolis of the country.’

Among the other findings in the report, there are a few that require immediate attention such as, almost every second child is underweight and more than half of the children are born stunted, or, that 29 percent of children in the age-group of 6 to 14 (the right to education) years are school drop-outs.  There is no secondary municipal school in this areas in spite of the fact that about 50 percent of the population are mostly teenagers.

Annabel Mehta, Apnalaya’s President who has been working in Shivaji Nagar for close to five decades, said: “In over 40 years of working in the slums of Mumbai we are seeing people living in worse conditions now than before.”

The Corporator here accused the NGO as his defence. Raees Shaikh, the leader of Samajwadi Party (SP) in Corporation said, “NGOs like Apnalaya carry out such surveys and reports to please international donors. They only show Govandi in a bad light and especially during election time. This is really bad. M-east ward comprises more of slums and since when did anyone find nationalised banks in slums?”

He further added, “We corporators are always working for the people and trying to improve the conditions of all areas.”

Presently the M-east Ward comprises four corporators from Samajwadi Party(SP), one independent corporator, one from Congress Party and one from Bharip Bahujan Mahasang.

 

Employment

Males –nearly every second male is unemployed

n          Females –only 1 out of 7 women are in paid work

n          Casual Labour (of those who are employed)

n          Males – 62.8 per cent.

n          Females – 54 per cent

n          Households with at least one person with a bank account – 59%, leaving 31% of households with no bank account and therefore out of the formal system of financial inclusion

 

Number of banks in Shivaji Nagar

n          Nationalized Banks:  0

n          Cooperative Banks – 2

n          Out of school children in the age group of 6-14, the RTE years, is close to 30 per cent.

n          Age at marriage – 38 per cent girls are married before they are 18 years old.

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