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MHADA is setting up a statistical cell which will provide all kind of data on real-estate
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is trying to create more transparency in the real-estate industry by accumulating a huge statistical database on prices, number of completed projects and number of projects which have received permissions, among other details.
"Data has always been an issue in this industry. We are trying to provide authentic and recent data to consumers. We are planning comprehensive data collection and utilisation through this cell. In the next six-eight months, the cell will be operational," said Sitaram Kunte, secretary, housing department, government of Maharashtra.
The cell will be headed by the joint director from the statistical department of the Maharashtra government. The State already accumulates data from different authorities on different segments. Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated an exercise to set up a housing start-up index (HSUI) to track new residential projects in 31 major cities and measure the changes in construction activities.
The HSUI will cover new residential projects in all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, among others. The National Housing Bank (NHB) tracks the movement of prices in the residential housing segment; the National Building Organisation is trying to provide an online data system on the number of buildings which have been granted permission.
The Maharashtra government's statistical database won't involve itself in primary data collection. As a part of the transparency move, it would accumulate data from various authentic sources, like the urban development authority would provide the data on the number of buildings being granted development permission; banks would provide data on home-loan offtakes; the registration department would provide the sales figures, the price trend and the number of leave-and-license agreements existing in a particular period.
Dr Nita Mukherjee finds a century-old NGO in the heart of Mumbai
Twelve years ago, when Guddi Advani walked into Seva Sadan to volunteer her time, she had not expected that the Sadan would become her mission in life. She did not even know then that it was one of the oldest organisations in Mumbai for destitute women and girls. Today, she is its honorary president.
Later registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950, the Sadan was founded in 1908 by two philanthropists, Behramji Malabari and Diwan Dayaram Gidumal. The institution provides shelter, education, vocational training, and employment opportunities to make girls and women self-sufficient and to lead lives with dignity.
Over the past hundred years, Seva Sadan has changed in its approach. Guddi says: “We have tried to go beyond the basics of food and shelter. The old ideology of charity has been replaced with goals of education, self-reliance and overall development. To instil self-worth and self-reliance, women are assigned duties and jobs at the institution, for which they are given a small remuneration.”
Seva Sadan has a ‘Home’ that houses approximately 100 women and girls. Free low-cost accommodation is provided in a family-like atmosphere. Residents are provided a nutritious, well-balanced diet which the inmates assist in preparing. All aspects of the residents’ lives—social, emotional, educational, economic and cultural—are looked after. Currently, residents’ age varies from eight to 90 years. Several women have lived in the institution for over 50 years and continue to contribute their time and skills for the welfare of the Seva Sadan community.
Admission to the Home is given irrespective of caste, creed or religion to: orphans; single mothers who are unable to provide adequate shelter to their girl child and are willing to come and live with her; single-parent girl child; girl child whose parents are unable to provide for her; and homeless women.
The Sadan also runs educational institutions for girls. There is a pre-primary school for 100 children. The primary school (Std 1 to Std 4) is aided by the BMC and has 350 students; the secondary school aided by Government of Maharashtra has about 500 students. The schools are primarily for local girls and the medium of instruction is Marathi; many parents are demanding that it be changed to English medium for which the Sadan will have to train its teachers—a task that requires a lot of funding. The Sadan also has a teachers training college offering a two-year government-recognised diploma course (DEd). All these activities require funding, only a part of which comes from the interest on the corpus. For the rest, funds are raised as project grants.
More recently, the Sadan has started what it calls ‘self-sufficiency projects’. There are two restaurants initiated and managed by Seva Sadan and located on its premises, namely, ‘By The Way’ and ‘Aahaar’ which provide value meals and are very popular. Simultaneously, they offer livelihood for the Sadan inmates. The former serves non-vegetarian and vegetarian Indian & Continental cuisine and the latter caters Maharshtrian/Gujarati meals and snacks.
The Sadan is managed by a 12-member honorary managing committee elected once in three years. The committee meets every month. Khurshed Pavri is the secretary and Kashmira Dajee the treasurer. There is also an advisory panel comprising eminent professionals from various fields.
There are several ways in which you can help, besides contributing to the general corpus of the Trust (for which exemption under 80G is available). You can sponsor: an inmate’s annual expenses (Rs20,000); a child’s education (Rs4,000-Rs5,000 per year); a meal for all inmates (Rs3,000-Rs5,000); a teacher’s training programme (Rs10,000 per year) or even a school picnic (Rs10,000). Most of all, the Sadan needs professionals who can offer their skills and services on a voluntary basis. Guddi says ruefully, “Because of the pressures of living in Mumbai, this spirit of volunteerism is now dying.”