There is a huge response from women, especially from those residing in posh localities of the city, to contest the first ever Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) elections, slated to be held on May 15. Majority of these contestants are highly qualified and want to “contribute positively” to improve the civic conditions.
A total of 165 women candidates have filed their nominations from all 35 wards and 67 of them are contesting from eight wards of the New Gurgaon area alone.
Out of them, 12 wards are reserved for women candidates. Ward no 31 is the only seat where no woman candidate is contesting while five of the reserved wards falling in New Gurgaon have at least 10 contestants each.
All these women aspirants have come from various backgrounds with some of them having expertise in social works and some are businesswomen or professionals.
Rama Rani Rathee, a candidate from ward 34, said, “I have been staying here since a very long time and have been suffering due to civic problems. Someone who knows problems of the people should contest th elections.”
Kittu Bansi Mathur who is also contesting from ward 34 said, “We need well-informed people. With education you gain awareness and these aware women now want to change the system. The system is collapsing and they are courageous enough to take up the task to improve the situation.”
The youngest among the 67 women candidates is 24-year-old Amita Yadav from ward 30.
The oldest candidate in the category is Shashi Kochar, a retired deputy adviser of the Planning Commission. She has spent 20 years in teaching underprivileged children and also worked as an assistant adviser in the Human Resource Development ministry.
Kochar has also written 28 books some of which have been prescribed for schoolchildren in the CBSE board. Besides some well-qualified contestants, some women aspirants have also come from rural backgrounds.
Experts, however, believe that participation by women in the election process is just the beginning. “It will take some time before we witness a complete societal change. Seats may be reserved at the corporation (and panchayat) level but most of the times, it empowers an insignificant number of women,” said Prof E Haq from JNU.