Articles by Shruti Gokarn

Shruti Gokarn is a Reporter for Citizen Matters. A former educator turned journalist, she writes on education, handicrafts, food, and travel among other things. Her other interests are crocheting, and reading.

Fransisca Dantas, a visually challenged teacher, has a unique accessibility challenge while boarding the Mumbai local trains. She travels five days of the week from Andheri to Dadar by the local train for work. At Andheri, announcements about the arrival of trains, whether they are 12 or 15 coach, are erratic. This means passengers don't know where the women's compartment will be. Like other women commuters, she cannot run to get into the women’s compartment once the train arrives. “If it is a 15 coach, people start running helter skelter. With a first class season ticket I can get into…

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The highest ever budget for the richest civic body in the country, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), was presented on 2nd February by the Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. This was his fourth time presenting the budget and the second time presenting it in lieu of an elected body. The BMC is slated to spend Rs 59,954.75 crore for the city of Mumbai. The focus of the budget is the completion of massive infrastructure projects such as the Mumbai Coastal Road project and the Goregaon Mulund Link Road. The Municipal Commissioner has drawn particular attention to the focus of the…

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On 22nd January at around 9.00 pm, three employees of Western Railway, Vasu Mitra, Somnath Lambture, and Sachin Wankhede were mowed down by a train as they were attending to a point failure on the railway track between Vasai and Nalasopara. The repair work was almost completed, when a fourth employee, who was deputed to signal the arrival of a train was sent to Vasai station to bring some tools, thus leaving them oblivious to the train approaching them, says one Vasai Road Railway Police official. This accident comes close on the heels of a report released by the GRP…

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A ritual from my childhood involved going to a local co-operative store at the end of every month with my father. Buying and storing groceries, which would last the month or even the year, was the norm of the time. But consumption patterns are getting transformed — a part of a larger, systemic change. Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), one of India’s largest co-operative consumer organisations has not escaped the effects of this change. “There is a significant change both in terms of the number of members and the number of goods ordered,” says Advocate Shrish Despande, the Chairperson of MGP. Both…

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There is a flurry of activity in my house. Furniture is rearranged to make space. Glasses of chilled nimbu pani are kept ready, and everyone waits for the familiar brown truck to come to the gate of the building. Things move quickly with its arrival. Men jump out of it and carry huge, blue plastic tubs filled with goods ranging from pulses to stationery to utensils, up to our house. The goods are checked against a list, the lemonade consumed, and the truck and these grocery Santa Clauses have moved on to their next destination. History of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat…

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Marcus is a trans man pursuing a master’s degree in sports management from IISM, Mumbai. As a member of the transgender community, Marcus welcomes the state government's decision to provide free higher education to transgender students in public universities in Maharashtra and in affiliated colleges. "This will be effective because a lot of trans people also come from the lower economic strata. Unfortunately, they have to leave their households early on because their parents don’t approve of their identity. They have to either manage their studies or drop out,” says Marcus. Policy's inclusivity objective On December 5th, at a meeting…

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“It is such a tragedy that on the occasion of the death anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, who spent his entire life educating people, making them aware, in getting them their rights, you have taken a step towards privatisation of education,” says Sudhakar Sonavane, former mayor of Navi Mumbai.  He is referring to Maharashtra government's "Adopt A School" scheme, which educationists and parents believe is an invitation in disguise for private players to take over government schools, where the poorest in the state study. It was launched on December 5th in the presence of chief minister Eknath Shinde and school…

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