A private Human Resources (HR) consultant to screen candidates, a website to keep voters updated at every stage of the selection process, and a funding model worked out to the last detail.
That’s how activists from around 300 citizens’ groups and advanced locality managements plan to run Mumbai227, a movement which has now metamorphosed into a political forum that plans to contest the upcoming civic elections.
Adolf D’souza, Mumbai’s first-ever citizens group-backed independent candidate, who won the civic polls in 2007, is a part of the forum.
Santosh Awatramani, a volunteer with Mumbai227 said, “We want the whole selection process to be transparent so that there are no complaints. Hence, we will first get an HR consultancy firm to screen all the applications that come in for citizen-candidates. This firm would then short-list applicants.”
Information about the short-listed applicants will be put up on the group’s website, and feedback will be sought. “The idea is for people in the ward to see all the information about these applicants, and form an opinion about them after reading up on them,” Awatramani added.
These applicants will then be put through a stringent selection process (see box), which entails screening at various levels.
Although the group’s funding model is based purely on personal donations, volunteers are confident of its efficacy. The forum has budgeted around Rs1 lakh as the maximum expense for each candidate.
“When I stood and won the corporator elections in 2007, the total expenditure came up to Rs57,000. This amount isn’t much to raise in a ward whose population is between 40,000 and 50,000,” D’souza said.