Saturday, May 21, 2011

I speak good Marathi besides English, Gujarati and Hindi : Mumbai corporator Afreen

Imagine a scene where a burqa-clad woman, among more than two hundred corporators of Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, is shouting for the problems of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Mother of two teenagers, Afreen Fayyaz Ahmed is the Congress corporator of Mumbai Municipal Corporation for last 3 years.

Born to Parsi parents, educated in one of the best schools in south Mumbai to marrying Fayyaz Ahmed and becoming a corporator, story of Afreen is very interesting. Afreen converted to Islam at the age of 18 years and married to Fayyaz Ahmed, former Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and was just a housewife till Madanpura Municipal seat reserved for women.

Although, it would be normal for Muslims but very strange for others not to see their own elected corporator ever and vote for her. Imtiyaz Ahmed, 30, a local of her area said, “No one has ever seen Afreen Fayyaz Ahmed but everybody knows her and get their work done.” Afreen, while talking to said, “Hijab is my ornament and it never stops me from serving the people of my area.” She also added that she derives all the courage from Allah and her husband Fayyaz Ahmed is the biggest support for her.

Sharing her experience of working along with hundreds of men in the corporation, she said, “Initially it was bit odd but now I am used to it because of their co-operative nature. They all respect and care for me. Sometimes they go out of the way to co-operate me.”

In Maharashtra and specially in Municipal Corporation Marathi is the only way to communicate the grievance. “Knowing Marathi is compulsory if one likes to get her work done in Maharashtra and Alhamdulillah, I speak good Marathi besides English, Gujarati and Hindi” said Afreen.
Rehan Ansari in Two Circles. More Here

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