The citizens' group, Mumbai 227, on Friday selected 12 citizen candidates after putting them through an intensive screening process that included a pyschometric test and two rounds of personal interviews by HR consultants and civic activists.
This is the first ever set of candidates the forum, which was launched in October 2011 by 10 activists - has put out. Mumbai 227 expects to select 10 to 15 candidates every day over the next few days. "We interviewed 165 applicants and we hope to field candidates for at least 70 to 80 electoral wards," said Akalpita Paranjpe, member of Mumbai 227.
The selected citizen candidates will get training to do the job of a civic corporator. The process will involve sessions on public interaction, confidence building, soft skills and communication. Candidates will also be taught to speak Marathi. "The purpose of training the candidates is to help them in every way to achieve the final goal of winning the elections," said Paranjpe.
Harishchandra Pande, 51, one of the selected candidates, who will contest from ward no. 1 (Borivli-Dahisar), said he wants to protect the mangroves and open spaces in his ward if he gets elected. "The only way to put things in place is by entering the system," said Pande, who is the secretary of the New Link Road Residents' Forum, which has taken up issues related to milk and food adulteration, water safety and illegal constructions.
"It is important to know the language of the BMC governance. I am keen on learning Marathi," said Vijay Shivdasani, 69, a former naval officer who fought in the 1971 Bangladesh war. Shivdasani will contest from Colaba (ward no. 227).