An independent candidate in ward 126 ( San Thome – Mandaveli zone) is making some impact among residents of this area.
29 year old Mary Divya, a resident of a fisherfolk colony in San Thome and a professional social worker has been working overtime to spread her message and the symbol allotted to her – the guitar.
Mary, who is a post graduate in social work and has been working for a few NGOs locally says she chose to contest the urban body elections so that she could extend the work she is already doing for the community.
She says she has been working on issues related to women in economically poor sections, for casual labourers and on getting state-scheme services to families and to the poor.
And since she has lived all her life in the area, she says she is aware of the ward and its people and the issues that bother them.
Though Divya has had a tough time meeting the demands of the poll process, she has received support from youth and women who are social activists. “A youth group joined me one Sunday to lead us with parai-attam and music,” she says. “In the kuppams, a labour union woman leader spoke for me.”
A student of St Anthony’s Girls School on Madha Church Road and a grad from Stella Maris, Divya says her opponents are women who have neither political nor community work experience to show but have been chosen because many wards are reserved for women.
“Political parties will have support from their vote banks but I am banking on youth and women to support me,” she says.