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Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

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Thiscooperative housing society in Andheri West has decided to take advantage of the coming elections, to try and solve their encroachment woes.

Fed up with illegal hawkers eating up the pavement space outside the society’s walls, the residents have put up a banner saying that they will boycott all political parties which encourage illegal hawkers.


STALLING FOR TIME: The increasing encroachments have left residents with no place on the pavement outside their housing complex, and the banner expresses their frustration. PICS/NIMESH DAVE

Another way of saying, “We promise our votes to whoever removes these illegal hawkers” - perhaps. It’s certainly a reversal of the traditional election promises when politicians vow to give constituents the earth, but after being elected they go to ground!

A thousand and one words

Stairway to nowhere

Byculla station

On World Sleep Day yesterday, this little girl, tired after a session of begging, decided to catch a few Zs at Byculla station. Pic/Varun Singh

Ballot barbs
Whatever one says about India, you know you live in a democracy when you can joke about politicians on social media. As elections near, virtual jibes are flying thick and fast, and are getting snarkier.

A current one that is doing the rounds is: Who should we see win the elections – a duffer, a bluffer or a muffler? Now, whom do they mean…? Figure it out!

Rupee rationale
FIXING the minimum fare at Rs 19 has proved to be a boon for taxi drivers when they ferry passengers to short distances.

Taxi meter

Passengers always hand over Rs 20 and the drivers almost always say they don’t have a rupee to give back. Count the number of short trips that a taxi driver will make on an average, and you can guess how much extra he must be pocketing. When a colleague mentioned this to a taxi driver who “did not have change”, the driver remarked, “The rupee is like that — sometimes you get it, sometimes you give it.”

That bit of philosophy was worth the Rs 1 that our colleague had to forego!

Seeing is believing
An eye care hospital in Malad has taken to the streets to spread the message of glaucoma awareness. Well, not marching on the streets exactly, but rather, using the reach of autorickshaw drivers.

FARE AND SHARE: Autorickshaw drivers benefit from spreading the message of glaucoma awareness
FARE AND SHARE: Auto rickshaw drivers benefit from spreading the message of glaucoma awareness

The drivers have been given typical Maharashtrian style caps carrying the message that regular check-ups can help prevent glaucoma. In return for wearing these caps during World Glaucoma Week — March 9-15 — they and their family members can avail of free check-ups themselves, at the hospital. That’s a far-sighted initiative, we must say.

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