FOR AS long as she can remember, she has spent her life in the service of God. At 70, Salimbi Mohammad Shaikh now hopes to spend the next five years in the service of her locality. A wish that prompted the 70-year-old to fill up nomination papers as an aspiring candidate from Panel 28 Salisbury Park Maharshi Nagar , making her the oldest amongst 1,090 candidates contesting in the city.
Salimbi Mohammad Shaikh, who will be contesting for the second time said, “Last time, I did not win, but if by God’s grace I do this time, then I will work towards eradicating poverty in my area.” Since last 15 to 20 years, Shaikh has been instrumental in spreading brotherhood amongst people of her area belonging to all religions as well as financially supporting those who cannot afford wedding expenses. According to her son, Sabir Yasin Shaikh, it is her social service that has got her the opportunity to contest. On how Shaikh plans on standing by her promises, Sabir said, “There are many issues that require immediate attention. Many of the children are unemployed, because of which they develop habits such as drinking and gambling. The first thing we will do is shift alcohol shops, which are housed in the slums and provide them with jobs through government schemes and make them a part of the corporation.” If Salimbi Mohammad Shaikh is the oldest candidate in the electoral fray then meet candidates Prachi Ashish Alhat and Ayushi Ashwin Kumar Pachange, two young women who in their 20s are the youngest aspirants for the job.
Prachi Alhat, the youngest candidate this year, will be contesting from Panel 26, Mohammadwadi Kausar Baug. A young graduate, Prachi comes from a family who has been in politics for long, with her husband serving Shiv Sena for the last 10 years. “Even before I started campaigning, I would visit houses and figure out women’s issues in the area, which include hygiene and safety,” said Prachi.
With similar goals and aspirations, Ayushi Pachange, Panel 13 Erandwana Happy Colony would want to focus on women’s issues as well. She wants to focus on hygiene and safety issues.