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Updated: July 10, 2013 08:33 IST
RIGHT TO WALK

A long day, a longer road for this 40-year-old maid

Serena Josephine M.
Comment (4)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
40-year-old domestic help E. Saraswathi's walk back home is full of obstructions -- Photo: V. Ganesan
40-year-old domestic help E. Saraswathi's walk back home is full of obstructions -- Photo: V. Ganesan

Every day, E. Saraswathi spends at least four hours on the road, not in a bus or on a two-wheeler, but on foot.

The 40-year-old, who works as a domestic help, walks from her house in Mettukuppam near Virugambakkam to her workplace in Rail Nagar near Koyambedu via Nerkundram.

“It takes at least 45 minutes to reach Virugambakkam from my house. The frequency of buses is poor. From Virugambakkam, I have to take another bus to Koyambedu and then, a share auto to Rail Nagar. This will cost me both time and money. I decided to walk as I wanted to save both,” she says.

Her day begins at 4 a.m. After preparing food for her husband and son, she leaves home at 9 a.m. and reaches Rail Nagar by 11 a.m. “I do not eat anything in the morning as then it becomes difficult to walk,” she says. She finishes work at 4 p.m.

As she sets out to return home, Saraswathi encounters innumerable hurdles. She reaches Poonamallee High Road from Rail Nagar after stopping a couple of times to allow vehicles cross the small bridge in the area. Rail Nagar does not have pavements and residents walk on the road to reach the main road.

“First of all, crossing the stretch is an arduous task. I cannot walk on the pavement as there are several obstructions,” she says. The footpaths are either occupied or broken in places. Thick shrubs have grown near the pavements in some places, while shops have occupied the space in others.

On the busy Poonamallee High Road, Saraswathi has to watch out for vehicles whizzing past. “In some places, the rains have left a pool of stagnant water, pushing me further into the road,” she says.

She reaches home only by 6 p.m. “My legs ache a lot due to the walking but I have got used to it,” she says.

(Contributed by Serena Josephine M.)

Talk Back

We invite readers to participate in this campaign. You can email pictures of bad pavements (size not more than 1.5 MB) to myright@thehindu.co.in

Please send a picture of yourself.

In the email, please give your name, contact information, location of the pavement, description of the issue and action required.

Your pictures will be posted on www.facebook.com/chennaicentral and will also be considered for publication in the newspaper.

Website: http://thne.ws/mychennai

More In: Chennai | News

When Rosie Ruiz won the Boston marathon, immediate suspicion fell on her because, she did not look like a runner due to the body fat.
Do you know how fit one will be if you walked everyday for 4 hrs that too skipping a meal. Just stating.

from:  P Kumar
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 00:28 IST

This is a sad story. Yes there are less buses,horrible roads which will never change even a century from now. But we who employ these housemaids can change our mind-set. Housekeepers or Housemaids should also be considered as employees and we should provide health-insurance or health expenses included in the monthly salary. They are also humans just like us and deserve these basic expenses and include travel cost as well. Somehow our country takes house-maids for granted and we need to change that mind set. When was the last time you had a lunch with your house-maid in your dining room on the table and not let them sit on the floor? If you have;good for you, if not we need to change.

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 17:52 IST

we wonder what would be circumstances under which she had to
undertake this ordeal.She should have been paid by the employer
substantially.

from:  T.S.Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 19:52 IST

"My Chennai My right" seems to be a instant hit! Good initiative by "The Hindu" with good response from the authorities concerned to somehow accommodate the requests within their limitations. Hats off!

What about the same problems existing in the suburbs of Chennai, which very much come under "Chennai City" or "Greater Chennai". First of all there is no clarity in call it. According to Postal and Police Departments, Poonamallee belongs to Chennai City. But it is still not receiving the attention it should.

For instance, Poonamallee. Can I write about it now ? I am asking this question since only Chennai is covered now.

from:  K Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:59 IST
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