FROM the mills of Worli, struggling to survive, being a nurse and now the mayor, Kishori Pednekar is one of most tenacious women out there. She takes chances and risks when trying to achieve her goals, ensuring the safety of her people.
Born in a mill worker at Worli Naka, Mayor Kishori had started as a nurse. She worked at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust hospital as she needed the money to increase her family income. She recalled her hard-work, jumping from one duty to another while taking care of the patients and her husband’s grandmother, along with her two children. Along with all this, she started to recognise her interest in politics and social service.
With her growing attraction towards politics, she joined Shiv Sena women wing in 1992 and was sent to work in Raigad and Sindhudurg districts in Western Maharashtra. She became a corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2002 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2017. During the three terms, she held numerous key positions and one of them is serving as a member of the standing committee.
Mayor Kishori started her term with appeals to the Mumbaikars (Mumbai residents) to save water while she began to call on city officials to focus on realising the roads without potholes. Devoting her life to the city, she continually puts the city development as her top priority. One of her initiatives is to demolish dangerous and dilapidated buildings. She has recently announced that there are 443 high-risk buildings in Mumbai. Out of these, 56 are owned by the municipality, 27 by the government, and 360 by private sector. These isolated structures, often became a shelter for anti-social elements, not to mention crime such as rape. She is currently working on the list, gathering the building’s current status, reaching to work with their owners to get them demolished and securing them. The vacated structures need to be identified primarily at the administrative ward level. Therefore, Mayor Kishori has started the programme from her own ward in G-south ward (Worli and Lower Parel) and taken it further to other wards.
In this pandemic, Mayor Kishori is also very active. She regularly visits hospitals to give moral support to the health workers. As a former nurse herself, she donated her uniform to show her solidarity and volunteered to serve as a nurse. Showing her amicable traits, she said that on-the-spot visit gives her a lot more understanding about the problem faced by civic staff and patients; therefore, it is her responsibility to hold.
Her hard works proved by the decline of the death rate of COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai. It dropped sharply -33 percent in December compared to the month before. While monitoring the whole situation, her next effort for the city is to deal with the vaccine. She devised a vaccine distribution strategy for around 40 percent of the population in the ‘vulnerable groups.’ To better equipped during the ongoing pandemic, Mayor Kishori also decided to develop a real-time monitoring COVID-19 mobile application to regulate the vaccination process.
Mayor Kishori is also known to be very concerned about the city’s environment. To monitor natural resources usage and protect the city’s biodiversity, she establishes the first-ever Biodiversity Management Committee. This Committee will regulate access to natural resources and help in the conservation and preservation of diversity. She is also often stressing on the need for green cover in the city to protect the environment. She urges the Mumbaikars to plant at least two trees on their birthday or any important day to add to the green cover and increase BEST (Bombay Electric Supply & Transport) use buses to reduce road congestion and pollution.