Mumbai’s female corporators seem to be more efficient than their male counterparts.
This is the finding of a recent survey conducted by the Praja foundation that rated corporators on the basis of the number of issues raised, attendance at general body and civic committee meetings, education and criminal records.
Nearly two-thirds of women corporators (27 of 89), scored more than 70%. Only 15 male corporators out of 135 got the same score.
Besides looking at official records to ascertain each corporator’s performance, as part of the survey, 28,000 people from different wards were also interviewed about the perception they had of their corporator’s honesty and efficiency.
Meena Desai, a corporator from Mahim, was the highest scorer overall. At the bottom of the list was Vijay Vashride, a corporator from Bhuleshwar.
“I consider my entire ward as my own house. I take care of my ward and people in the same way as I take care of my house and family. This rating will encourage me even more to continue doing good work,” said Desai.
The average score among women corporators was 60.06%; the figure was 58.77% for men.
The ratings come as an encouragement for women for whom 50% seats are reserved in the upcoming municipal polls in February. But with many women corporators planning to contest from their old areas where they have a strong base (some of which fall outside the reserved category), experts believe that around 135 of the total of 227 corporation seats will be bagged by women.
Desai added that apart from reserved seats, women should be considered candidates of equal merit and parties should give them tickets to contest from the open category too. “It is taken for granted that men will contest from wards which fall in the open category. But we need to look at the performance of a corporator. If a woman has worked well in her ward, which now falls in the open category, she should be allowed to contest from it.”
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav said, “Women politicians have always been found to be good leaders. We need to encourage more women in the civic administration. They are more often found to be less corrupt than men, are flexible to new ideas and experiments. Also, they can relate to problems at the grass-roots better.”