In Cuffe Parade, blaze melts vertical divide

Written By Unknown on Senin, 02 Desember 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The concept of advanced locality management (ALM) acquired a new meaning in the Cuffe Parade area where residents came forward to help nearby slumdwellers rebuild their lives after a fire destroyed their shanties on November 21. Under ALM, housing societies take up civic issues in their respective areas. However, after the blaze, Cuffe Parade Residents' Association and My Dream Colaba ALM roped in local NGOs and churches to help their "neighbours", who have been extending their services as domestic help, driver or office boys over a long period.

Circulars were sent out calling upon the residents of various buildings to donate food, vessels, blankets, mattresses and clothes. However, as a rule, no monetary help was offered.

"We cannot be indifferent to our neighbours when such a severe fire mishap has taken place. Many of us were affected to see their plight. We realized the need to help and rebuild their lives on humanitarian ground," said Ghanshyam Hegde, president, My Dream Colaba.

Residents said they cannot deny their dependence on these people, who have been offered help in various ways for the last 10 days. "Imagine, your driver or domestic help not coming to work for a day! It paralyses our functioning and day-to-day activities,"said a resident.

The hutments that were destroyed in the fire were the recently built, say locals. One person died and nearly 900 shanties 600 shanties were reduced to ashes on November 21. "State government should realize that in the South Mumbai Assembly constituency, 65% are living in slums. Because of CRZ, these slums have been neglected. The government need to come up with a different policy for the slums," said Makarand Narwekar, local corporator.

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