Sena takes personal hygiene to the slums

Feb 10, 2012, 08:14 IST | Varun Singh

Along with promises to improve the zoo and develop grounds in the city, the Sena-BJP-RPI manifesto vows to help women of the poorer sections by offering them sanitary napkins at affordable prices

Along with promises to improve the zoo and develop grounds in the city, the Sena-BJP-RPI manifesto vows to help women of the poorer sections by offering them sanitary napkins at affordable prices

ON a the list of the usual expected election promises, this one is sure to catch your eye: sanitary pads at reasonable rates for poor women. That's what the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance has promised to women belonging to the poorer sections of the society, if it wins the upcoming civic polls.

The manifesto that was released yesterday at Sena Bhavan made several eyes bulge -- with disbelief, and several others squirming with embarrassment. The reason behind the move is simple -- to garner votes from the women of the poorer strata and also promote personal hygiene. According to sources, the Sena wants to improve the dismal health rates in the city and also aid women who suffer from several health problems owing to the lack of proper hygienic conditions and affordable sanitary napkins, hence their inclusion in the newly released manifesto.

Poll secrets: Shiv Sena's president Uddhav Thackeray shares a lighter
moment with RPI President Ramdas Athawale at the launch of the
Sena-BJP-RPI manifesto at Sena Bhavan yesterday. Pic/Rane Ashish

Other issues
The alliance's manifesto also dealt with other issues including that of improving the Byculla zoo. According to the proposal, the Saffron alliance wants to get cheetahs and penguins to the zoo in order to uplift the pitiable condition of the zoo.

Ground zero
However, one of the main issues on their manifesto was that of developing grounds in the city. In the recent past, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had fumed after the High Court had not allowed him to hold a rally at Shivaji Park.

However, the Sena manifesto states that more grounds would be developed if the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance came to power.

During the release, Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said, "We will make grounds that can be made available for every party during elections." Several sources claim that the statement was a direct taunt to the MNS and his angry cousin. However, when MiD DAY contacted the MNS for its response, Shalini Thackeray said that it was a lame refute at the least. "We were denied Shivaji Park for our rally but the same ground was given to the Sena. Uddhav simply wants to show that he is large-hearted but the truth is that he is trying to deflect the question raised by Rajsaheb."

How accommodating
The manifesto also reflected the demands and agendas of the other parties in the alliance. After a small tussle over the issue of octroi, the manifesto has a new clause saying that if they find a suitable alternative for octroi, they will abolish it, if elected to power.

Did you know?
South African President Jacob Zuma had also promised free sanitary napkins to woo voters during the January 2011 elections.

Catching 40 winks
It appeared as if the election campaigning has taken a toll on Mayor Shraddha Jadhav as she was seen sleeping while the manifesto was being released. The mayor has been campaigning non-stop for herself at Antop Hill and it seems that all that campaigning has robbed her of sleep. Similarly, BJP city's chief Raj Purohit was also seen taking power naps on the stage.
Police serve notice to Mayor
Antop Hill police officials served Mayor Shraddha Jadhav a notice under Section 149 (police to prevent cognisable offences) of the CrPc yesterday. Jadhav received the notice to prevent any untoward event at the time of the elections. Every police station has issued similar notices to people who might indulge in untoward activities during the upcoming civic elections.

Important SOPs
>> Affordable sanitary napkins to the poor

>> Improving Byculla zoo

>> Development of grounds  and parks in the city

>> Special clinics for patients suffering from diabetes

>> Better education in schools run by corporation

>> Contract employees will be made permanent

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