Women of Navi Mumbai want a reality check for the Day Care Centres of the senior citizens. For their convenience, they have demanded either some all women exclusive rooms in those centres or some separate centre for them.
To provide basic services to the residents, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) keeps on experimenting. One of such ambitious project was the Day Care Centre for the senior citizens. But unfortunately, women have raised questions over the project alleging ignorance. They have also demanded more such centres in the area, which would be exclusively reserved for women. They also want the allocation for the same in the ensuing budget.
Over the years, the senior citizens of Navi Mumbai were demanding for proper space, where they could sit, play and discuss the social issues of the society. Considering the demand, NMMC had developed Day Care Centre in various nodes. This was welcomed with an open heart by the senior citizens. However, those centres have failed to cater to the need of the women.
Mohana Iyer, a social worker and a women senior citizen says, “In a patriarchal world, where male is a dominant force, women are always restricted by the men. In India when guests visit our home, we women, confine ourselves inside the women room. The simple reason being, the guests include men. The women guests also prefer to joint us in the internal room leaving men in one room. This shy nature is not a hidden factor and it is an ethos of our culture.”
Social Worker of SAYA, Sevadarni Jyoti Kaur says, “Confining to the company of women is a practice done by us since our childhood and this cannot just go away as we turn older. Today, each node has hardly four to five senior citizen centres for the population over 25,000 senior citizens in each ward. It means only one centre for 5,000 senior citizens and the space allocated can hardly accommodate 50 even if we sit in an order of a classroom. If it is utilised for playing games like carom or chess then hardly 25 senior citizens can be accommodated in it. And this is why the usage of such centres is limited.”
She added, “But pivotal question is- how women will participate in these centres? When women even feel shy to sit with their known people, how will they sit together with other unknown 20 to 25 men? This is a near impossible task. On the other hand, the social issues discussed by men vary from what women like to discuss.”
Social worker and senior citizen, Kesar Singh says, “It’s the budget time and the NMMC must think twice before making the budget. They must plan for more Senior Citizen Centre that would have two separate rooms exclusive for women with separate entrance for them. They must also redevelop the old Senior Citizen Centre or at least develop new room along the old ones. This would be benefited to the most ignored section of the society and they will also get some space to open up and think beyond the limit.
One of the NMMC Official expressed, “NMMC is the only Municipal Corporation in all over Maharashtra who has developed the Day care centre for the Senior citizens. Both women and men senior citizen must utilize the available space. Dividing the centre will only spread the message of discrimination”.
—Jaspal Singh Naol

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.