CIVIC AND POLITICAL CELL
The Civic & Political Cell is part of an initiative undertaken after the 2001 Synod in the Mumbai Archdiocese. Cells were formed for specific areas which needed apostolic action. It was in this context, based on the situation being experienced in Mumbai, that it was decided to focus on the following areas:
Public Health & Environment
Mumbai’s capacity to absorb tonnes of garbage being dumped in its designated dump sites is rapidly depleting. As responsible citizens, we need to work closely with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to effectively segregate our own individual garbage into wet and dry garbage.
Public Health & Cleanliness
We need to make our neighbourhoods conscious of cleanliness and its impact on public health. Walls should not be used for urinating. Public lavatories need to be used for defecating. Roads and footpaths should not become public spittoons. We need to work closely with people of other faiths in the neighbourhood and address these problems through the ALMs (Advanced Locality Managements) and the respective Ward Officers.
Pedestrian & Road Safety, And Public Spaces
For the civic good and safety of the neighbourhood, one needs good footpaths, roads and trees, adequate lighting, and public spaces for relaxation. We need to take up these issues through the ALMs.
Safety Of Citizens
The civic life of the neighbourhood would include addressing the safety issues of women and senior citizens. We would need to actively work with the police in the local police station to ensure regular patrolling and immediate action on receipt of complaints. We would also need to work with the existing mohalla committees.
Illegal Structures & Public Nuisances
In the neighbourhood there are sometimes attempts to scuttle the law by putting up illegal structures like shops or residences. There are also drug addicts and alcoholics who create a public nuisance. These issues too need to be taken up through the ALMs with the police and/or the Ward Officer.
Awareness Of Rights/Responsibilities
We need to be acutely aware of our rights whenever the need arises. We also need to become aware of any changes in the applicable laws if they are going to hinder our fundamental rights. We need to network with experts who empower us with not only knowledge but also sage advice.
The number of frauds committed on ordinary citizens is increasing. Whether it is the selling of spurious goods or being tricked into fraudulent schemes, we need to work with the relevant organisations to create awareness as a measure of protection.
Political Parties & Candidates
Political parties may sometimes indulge in fake news which can spark communal conflicts or deliberately malign the opposition. We need to make citizens aware of these tactics to keep the peace. Political candidates need to be put under public scrutiny so that only those who genuinely work for the common good will get elected. Corruption needs to be weeded out through insistence on transparency in public life.