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The women power of Andolan

8 March, Mumbai: On the International Women’s Day this year, it was the 132nd day of the Mahul protest. The protestors are sitting at the dharna site, on a footpath of the Pipeline road, waiting for the government to rehabilitate people of Mahul from the toxic hell. The people of Mahul are resolute but the women, in particular, have a great amount of grit and determination, capable of inspiration.

Women residents of Bheemchaya basti in Vikroli region protest against forced slum eviction and demolition.
Women’s protest demanding rehabilitation from Mahul.

The Mahul Andolan is one of the best examples, wherein, several women members including Anita Dhole, Rekha Gadge and Pooja Pandit have tenaciously led the efforts of GBGBA. The women channelized public’s anger and averted violent conflicts in the course of struggle by which they made possible a peaceful negotiation with the government.

Without these three women, the struggle would have lost its momentum. These women are active organisers and leaders who made possible the participation of the whole community, amidst internal conflicts.

This Women’s Day, as part of the campaign we visited Pipeline, Govandi and Yari Road to meet these Wonder Women and recorded their point of view on the struggle to save their homes. The conversation largely focussed on the limited access of amenities such as water, electricity, open spaces, sanitation, educational facilities, career aspirations, infrastructure etc. for the women residents. The report is being prepared and will be shared soon.

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