Citizen FOGSI

meenakshiDr. Meenakshi Bharath

Member of Bangalore Obstetric & Gynaecological Society



What do you know about the City Corporation?

Do you know who is responsible for the roads, parks, public health, drains, and garbage clearance in your neighbourhood? It is not the Central or the State Governments- the correct answer is the City Corporation.

The corporation in a city is the lowest tier of Government.-known as the third tier-or Local Govt. For administrative purposes any city is broken into wards. Now with the increase in the city size and the population, the number of wards has increased.. Each ward will have a population of 20-40,000 people approximately. Each ward elects its own municipal councillor during city corporation elections. He/she plays a vital role in discharging the functions of the local government.

Local Governments are essential, as they look into the matters of our immediate concern like roads, garbage, drainage, parks, play grounds, maintenance of records of Births and Deaths, Urban poverty alleviation, public health, urban planning, property taxes, slum improvement, public conveniences etc. It is thus easy and essential for the common citizen to get involved in his neighbourhood issues through the Local Govt. It is a mistake that we all think that it is the job of the MLA or the MP to take care of the nitty gritties of daily life. Thier's is to make rules and regulations that will impact our lives in a greater way.

In any city the City Corporation elections take place once in 5 years. The Corporation is headed by the Mayor on the Legislative Side and the Commissioner on the Executive side. The mayor is elected for a term of one year from among the councillors and he along with the council members makes laws and budgets pertaining to the development of the city. The commissioner with the help of his subordinates will execute the plans and policies of the council.

In accordance with the constitution Ward Committees are made up of the elected councillors, knowledgeable citizens on urban issues and members of voluntary and community organisations. These committees are intended to plan, monitor and supervise the functioning of local government.

It is therefore essential that you take part in the local elections- even more than in the national or state elections-as a good and responsible ward councillor will change the state of your area for the better in the next 5 years.

You as the citizen can thus interact with you ward councillor and connect with him for the betterment of your ward and seek to participate in the functioning of the ward committees.

If you do not vote in the municipal elections then you cannot afford to complain about the condition of the city for the next 5 years.

meenakshiDr. Meenakshi Bharath

Member of Bangalore Obstetric & Gynaecological Society



Voter Apathy

The apathy in the Urban Indian population is because they do not see any benefit in voting and in participating in the local issues of governance.

Voting in the villages for the third tier of governance is very high for the impact of the Gram panchayat is great.

Ignorance on the part of the urban voter is one issue - most citizens only know of the first two tiers of governance. In the villages they know of the gram Panchayat- but in the cities there is no awareness of the city council.

In Cities this is probably because the lot of elected representatives do not impact the life of the citizens in a positive way. It is time that all the parties field candidates of good calibre otherwise the situation where muscle and money power rules the voter will be the down fall of our country.

The presence of capable candidates will be an inducement for the citizens to come out and vote. If the voting averages are more than 65% then it will the case of the best candidate winning, not the victory of money or muscle. Then the performace of the corporators will improve and so will the city.

The youth needs to vote –"Make your choice of your Local leader". If you do not vote, your leader will still be chosen – but he will not be your choice. Then you cannot grumble for the next 5 yrs. The situation in your ward can continue as is for the next few years.

To vote you need to have your name on the voter's list. Check your name way before the day of elections -not on the morning of elections. If you do not find your name in the voter's list please fill up the form 6, attach an address proof and give it to the ward office in your area. Make sure that you keep the receipt safely. You can do this when the coters list is up for corrections -all year through except for the one month before any election.

Your participation will make the difference to the elections. All of you come and be.

To improve the voter turn out is very well-but if the choice of candidates for the ward is not good then the purpose is defeated.

The political parties and the RWAs need to choose good candidates to stand in the wards. If the public perceives that the candidates will truly serve the community, then the voters will see the value in coming out to cast their vote. Currently most people feel that their vote is wasted.

Thus the onus for the voters' turn out lies in the hands of the candidates proving that they are worth voting for.

It is in the hands of the youth who make up more than 50% of the Indian electorate to show the power of their vote, not allow the power of money and muscle to rule them. Money power is the first step in corruption being perpetuated. If the youth exercise their power then they will change everything. Bangalore will improve.

The youth need to show that they are a force to be reckoned with and not ignored. This can only happen if they will participate whole heartedly in the happenings in the area.

it is imperative that the youth take up the onus for the happenings in india and make the difference.

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