Swadhin Sadan was the first cooperative housing society in Mumbai. It was inaugurated by Morarji Desai way back in 1949, when the concept of a cooperative housing society was not even heard of in Mumbai. Almost all the families have been residing in the society since it was built in 1949.
Apart from its rich history, the other distinctive aspect that stands out is that all the residents of the society are vegetarians. “The strange part is that the society has no rule barring non-vegetarians; it was quite by chance that all the residents are vegetarians,” explained Madhu Talsania, a resident, whose father had helped build the society.
Built on C road of Marine Drive, it is excellently located. Its proximity to the station and one of the major financial districts of Mumbai add to its lure. “Most of the residents choose this building because of its location. Since it is close to Churchgate station, Nariman Point and Marine drive, commuting to and from work, for most, is not a problem,” informed Talsania.
Talking about the environment, the society has a rainwater harvesting system in place. “Mumbai is the financial capital of India and everyday thousands of migrants come to this city. This puts a lot of pressure on our natural resources, so the only option left is to use water wisely and also conserve rainwater. Since Mumbai receives a good amount of rainfall, rainwater harvesting will help to ease the pressure,” said Talsania. The society even has its own borewell.
Waste management is also done systematically. The residents separate their dry waste and wet waste, which are then collected by the society’s sweepers and put in separate bins, kept in the society’s premises.
As far as security is concerned, there has never been any untoward incident in the society. Swadhin Sadan has seven CCTV cameras installed at different locations in its premises. The cameras are monitored 24/7 by a security guard. Apart from this, the society has six other security guards who look after the safety and security aspect.
Besides celebrating most important festivals together, the society also has an annual get-together after Diwali.
Since the building is very old, it has been renovated a number of times. All the internal plumbing has been changed in the society. A new gas pipeline has also been laid. Currently, the society is being painted.
There is no parking problem as such in the society. “Every flat owner has been allotted parking space. We also have a few closed garages, where the vehicles are parked in case of emergencies,” said Talsania.