Downtown

My street, my inspiration

This artwork on the compound wall of Anand Apartments, Dr. Ranga Road, was created by children Photo: M. Karunakaran  

In the future, don’t be confused when you hear the word ERAPRA. We are aware of RAPRA, which is Raja Annamalaipuram Residents Welfare Association. ERAPRA — which represents the eastern section of the neighbourhood — is the latest association on the block, and is independent of RAPRA.

Inspired by the activities taken up by residents of a neighbouring street — Mandaveli Raja Street Residents Welfare Association — a few residents living in the eastern section of Raja Annamalaipuram joined hands to form ERAPRA.

“Our pavements are encroached upon by vendors and our street is used as a dumping ground. There is no point just complaining about it. We were impressed with how residents of Raja Street and Thiruveedhi Amman Koil Street dealt with similar problems in their neighbourhoods, and inspired by their example, we started this association,” says R. Subramanian, president of the Association.

ERAPRA has 90 members with residents from Kandasamy Street and Raja Street Extension. The core team is working hard to ensure the participation of all the residents.

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‘The December Deluge brought us together’

Post-floods, residents of Vinayagam Street in Mandaveli realised the power of battling their civic problems on a united front. First, a few residents from an apartment complex got the stretch cleaned and the corners painted. Following this, more residents stepped forward to find solutions to civic problems in their corner of the street.

Two months ago, Vinayagam Street Residents Association was formed. So far, two meetings have been conducted.

“We have launched a door-to-door campaign to collect details of every resident. If more people come forward to be part of this initiative, we can address many more issues,” says S. Swaminathan, secretary of the Association.



WhatsApp with a purpose

For over a month now, through a WhatsApp group, residents of Jeth Nagar are helping Ramky identify uncleared garbage at various streets in the neighbourhood. Inspired by the response to the initiative, which has brought together residents —many for the first time — residents of Jeth Nagar formed a residents association over two weeks ago.

Through JERA (Jeth Nagar Residents Association), they are confident of addressing various other issues. “We have added local Corporation officials, Metrowater engineers and representatives of other civic bodies to our group to help us address various issues,” says Ravi Nandyala, an active member of JERA.

“I was motivated by Thiruveedhi Amman Koil Street Residents Association (TAKSRA) to do something for my street. Now, we have all the four streets in Jeth Nagar working with us and two sub branches of Jeth Nagar -- Pattamall Street and Ammani Ammal Street -- who want to join hands with us,” he says.



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Mandavelipakkam residents pick up the broom

If you have spotted a bunch of residents sweeping the streets of Mandavelipakkam on a Sunday morning, join them. For, they could lend a helping hand in keeping your street clean.

‘Clean Mandavelipakkam’ is an initiative to encourage residents to segregate waste at source and keep the streets clean. Started by Ranga Tiruman and Srimathy over a month ago, the two along with other residents have so far taken up six clean-up drives.

“Initially, I knocked on every door in our street, along with my children, to get the contact numbers of residents staying in our street. Many of us don’t know each other,” says Ranga who lives at Norton First Street.

Now, through Facebook and WhatsApp, members have been motivating more people to join them. “We have around 120 people in our WhatsApp group,” says Ranga, adding that over 20 people have been attending the weekly clean-up drive. They plan to go to individual apartments and talk about source segregation.

Regarding forming an Association, Ranga says they plan to form one, and sustaining one needs greater dedication. To learn more about the group’s activities, call Ranga at 9841419230.



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Children drive home a message

Residents of Anand Illam Owners Association at Dr. Ranga Road won a long battle last month. With the help of Mylapore Residents Welfare Association, they got the debris lying outside their apartment cleared by the Corporation. The pavement outside this apartment complex was encroached upon, with mounds of construction debris rendering it useless. They wanted to give life to the walls in the hope that people will think twice before dirtying them again. With 15 children from their apartment, residents got the long boundary wall painted. The themes were chosen by the children and include topics such as ‘sea of happiness’ and ‘tree of wisdom’.

“We were also inspired by a similar initiative taken by Vinayagam Street Residents Association to prevent people from urinating on the walls,” says D. Koilraj, former secretary of the Association.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 3:34:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/My-street-my-inspiration/article14621895.ece

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