Mrs. Alice Johnson Therratil, Secretary of the Mahila Congress of Maharashtra, was the Corporator of Kalina (Ward No.: 84) in the years 2008 – 2012. She took up the challenging job with great determination and worked hard to develop her ward. She was kind enough to spend time with Catholic Focus and Kalyan Media Cell (KMC) and share a few words to stress on the importance of exercising the right to casting your vote on the soon upcoming elections. The BMC elections are soon going to be held on the 21st of February 2017.
- Can you in brief describe for which posts in the civic body the elections are going to be held?
The soon coming elections are going to be held for the posts of a Corporator. Like the towns have municipal elections and for a city like Mumbai we will have corporation elections.
- Why do we need Corporators? What is their role?
We need Corporators because they are the leader of the area/ward. They can do a lot of social work such as helping the poor, and look after the primary needs of the wards like tending to the roads, gutters, water supply, electricity supply or even institutions like hospitals and schools. As the Corporator has the authority, he/she can help their people through the BMC.
- Why must a citizen dutifully vote on the election day?
A citizen should vote because it is an opportunity to elect a good leader. The works required for the ward would be done on time and the citizens will be happy. The Corporator would cater to his/her people when they are in need of his/her help.
- What are the implications if a citizen decides not to vote?
The chances of a corrupt leader getting elected is higher and hence they would not focus on the welfare and development of his ward. When the right leaders are being elected, there are chances for the development notreachingto the needy ones.
- Is the role of a Mumbaikar being a dutiful citizen over after casting their vote? What more can they do post elections?
No, the role of citizen is not over by casting the vote. The citizens should come forward with their difficulties and help the Corporator in developing the ward. They should notify the Corporator if something wrong is happening or some work relating to gutters or roads needs to be done and he/she will take the necessary actions to solve those problems.
- How can you inculcate the Catholic Values into the Political Services?
As a Catholic, each one is formed to be helpful and helping out people in need. Political service is an extension and a wide opportunity for us to practice what we have learned and followin life. Therefore, through the political services, we can become ideal citizens and a role model for other citizens to follow.
- How can a Catholic person be a part of the nation building? Is casting the vote the first step of the same?
As a minority, it is difficult to get much of a say in the BMC meetings. If more Catholic people step up to become candidates and hence get elected, we can make sure that our Catholic voice would be heard. The Church should support and encourage the young generation to step forward and help in developing the society.
- What would be your message to the youngsters of the day?
Youngsters should not think Politics is dirty and bad. Not all politicians are corrupt and fall in the same lot of cheaters and who only interested in pocketing money. They should take up the initiative and step forward. If more young leaders step forward then the entire country can improve immensely. They would see that politics is not bad and they can help others. For that to happen, they have to work hard and take interest. Also, it would be a great boost if our people would also encourage and provide the right direction to nurture future young leaders.