A few residents from Patel Road in Perambur have taken ownership of their streets. Liffy Thomas on the group
It is a lazy Sunday, but a small group of residents chooses to be busy. Gathered at an independent house on Patel Road in Perambur, the group is locked in an animated discussion on a variety of topics related to keeping Ward 70 clean.
Every Sunday, they engage in this exercise, which they call ‘vara koochal’. This weekly meeting results in strategies for a cleaner neighbourhood.
The group, which is led by Perambur resident T.E. Goverdhanan, a member of the non-profit organisation Nallorvattam, also conducts awareness programmes for the conservancy staff.
“The intention is to care for the well being of the conservancy staff, so that they also feel responsible for the street,” says Goverdhanan, an employee with a private firm.
Recently, 48 conservancy workers attended a free medical camp conducted by local resident Dr. Rajeshwari of Priya Nursing Home. Clothes were also distributed to them.
Since it started the meetings in October last year, the group has regularly cleaned the streets, created a data base of residents and identified those interest in blood/ organ donation and also those keen on offering free tuitions.
“The idea is to make Patel Road a model locality,” says Goverdhanan. Nearly 600 families live here and the challenge is to involve as many people as possible.
“We have collected a database of 250 families and through the questionnaire we have convinced that it will be helpful if each one gives his mite,” says Venkatesh Babu, owner of a textile showroom and a volunteer.
D. Raghunathan, who has let out a portion of his house for the weekly meeting, says a door-to-door campaign is under way to get every neighbour to participate in this meeting. “We have 10 to 15 people attending the meeting; this should increase to another 30 so that we have more suggestions and helping hands,” he says.
Today’s meeting will be held between 11 a.m. and noon. For details, call Goverdhanan at 9840066726.