First Steps to Leading a Change!

After we give birth to our baby, as a Mother we look forward to when our Baby takes the first step! We are filled with a sense of thrill and anxiety at the same time.

TogetherVCAN is just born and already has taken its First Step reaching out to all Mumbaikars with outstretched arms!

There is a saying. that every journey starts with a single step, and I believe that the first steps are the most important regardless of what you are setting out to achieve.

All of us have many strengths and capabilities within us – the challenge is for us to recognise them.

So the crucial question here is, how can people recognise these strengths and capabilities and how do we use them to our advantage as Individuals and for Society in general?

We also talk about the requirement of a Systems Change, as well as the issues of Safety and Security; of self, home & family, neighbourhood and society in general. So, how do we go about it?

In civil society, especially in urban areas, people, particularly the middle and lower class, find it extremely difficult to cope with a lot of issues.

Let us ask ourselves some searching questions and be honest about the state of affairs of the City of Mumbai as they now exist.

We show apathy towards the system of administration, criticise actions and inactions on the part of the administrators and throw up our hands. We choose to be totally unaware of our surroundings, thereby not understanding the problems that plague our localities. We break all safety rules- be they civic, building regulations or traffic, without any hesitation.

This then begs the question, how are we going to make a difference and also how will we ensure the administration discharges its job of doing the right thing by civil society.

Engaging in Citizen Participation is the most powerful tool, provided citizens do so and strengthen the system by positive participation. Now – How to go about it?

Identify the problem issues, Work with all stake holders, Find a solution which is both Implementable and Sustainable.

Consultation and Not Confrontation is the Way to Go.

As a Woman I Believe We the Women are the Best Agents for Change as we are wired to Multitask. So let us get going and take the Men along!!


The Author, Indrani Malkani, is the Managing Trustee of V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) and is an Ashoka Fellow