Afternoon Voice is a parallel and emerging media house that addresses and brings to you the well-analysed and detailed form of everyday issues in the city and its suburbs. Since last eight years we have been working hard to report about various news and other important incidents happening in Mumbai and other parts of the country. We are proud to address ourselves as a parallel media which continues to thrive in a commercialised world due to hard work. Stories covered by us have created an impact in the society and we have received positive feedback from our readers. As we enter the year 2018, we will continue to work hard and enlighten our readers with various issues which affect the lives of the common men.
Deliver justice to deceased contractual railway workers: Kirtikar
On November 21, 2017 we had published a lead story, ‘Railways should provide compensation to contractual workers’. In this report, we had mentioned about how three contractual women labours lost their lives after being run over by an express train near Malad. We also raised our concern regarding hardships faced by contractual workers family members after they lose the breadwinner of their family. Often it has been observed that railways turn a blind eye towards the safety of contractual workers and fail to provide compensation to them after the occurrence of a mishap. The kin of deceased workers have to run from pillar to post for claiming compensation from railways which is a tedious task.
After we published the story, Gajanan Kirtikar, Shiv Sena MP and member of Railway Board intervened in this matter and forwarded a letter to the Railway Board, New Delhi urging them to offer compensation to the kin of deceased women labourers. Mr Kirtikar has also assured us that he will look into this matter and ensure justice to contractual workers.
Error free online assessment system?
We had published this story on November 4, 2017. Through this report we had mentioned about Mumbai University going ahead with online assessment system for the winter semester exams despite facing severe technical hardships earlier. University officials had claimed that they are better prepared this time to identify any technical glitches and resolved past mistakes. Additional manpower has been deployed and training has been imparted to personnel for evaluation of 452 winter examinations. Despite this students were worried that results will be declared on time. Earlier students had to undergo severe hardships due to delay in declaration of results. Many of them had paid fees for seeking admission in colleges but were unable to produce their mark sheet and passing certificates.
As per the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, results must be declared within 30-45 days from the concluding date of the examinations. We received good feedback from students and legislators for publishing this report and they said that AV is highlighting about the hardships faced by students due to no fault of theirs. Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar had earlier admitted that the Government had introduced the online evaluation system in haste and assured us that the government will be more prepared for next academic year and I am hopeful to avoid such repetitions in future.
Punish mangrove destroyers
Through our story “Punish mangrove destroyers” published on October 9, 2017 we had reported about how Illegal construction and encroachment activities have resulted into the destruction of mangroves in Kanakia Park, Mira Road. Even though residents and activists had filed complaint with the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation against BJP MLA Narendra Mehta, for hacking mangroves to construct realty projects, they have turned a blind eye towards this issue. Mehta is the founder of Seven Eleven Group of Companies with business interests in construction, healthcare and education projects. Mangroves act as a natural barrier and prevent soil erosion and flooding in a city like Mumbai which witnesses heavy rainfall. However, sand and building construction materials are dumped to destroy mangroves to make way for realty projects in the city.
Infrastructure development is essential for the city’s development but it should not come at the cost of the environment. Environmentalists have called for the protection of mangroves, wetlands and waterbodies which will prevent flooding in the city.