Balaji Nagar RWA looks out for residents of streets that come under big curbs

Updated - May 04, 2020 01:13 pm IST

Published - May 04, 2020 12:46 pm IST - Chennai

Provisions being lifted  by a resident.   Photo: special arrangement

Provisions being lifted by a resident. Photo: special arrangement

After a man living at Seventh Street at Balaji Nagar in Alwarthirunagar tested positive for COVID – 19, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) brought this neighbourhood under the containment zone on March 31.

Now, this resident has recovered, and fortunately his family members, who were under observation at Kilpauk Medical College hospital for two weeks, had not contracted the infection.

When the family returned home in the third week of April and confined themselves totally to their house, as per the government protocol, Balaji Nagar Residents Welfare Association responded in an impressive manner, by ensuring that all the essential needs of the quarantined family and other residents of Seventh Street, were met.

R.B. Badri Narayanan, the association’s vice-president, says “We told the family not to hesitate to approach the association over phone, for any help. As the family lives on the second floor of an apartment complex, we came up with the idea of reaching essentials, including vegetables and milk, through a bucket tied to a long rope. The essential items would be placed in the bucket when they lowered it, and then they can draw it up. Another bucket was used in a similar fashion for disposal of garbage. The waste from the quarantined family is kept in a yellow cover, provided by the GCC. The yellow is a colour code to denote that the waste is generated from a family that has a COVID - 19 patient. The conservancy worker collects it.”

As per the protocol, residents of a containment zone are not allowed to leave their streets and so, the Association also reached out to other residents of the Seventh Street.

“Some houses in the street do not receive water through Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) pipes for which the association has made arrangements for tanker water supply. We also roped in a van driver, who ferries school children and office goers, to sell vegetables,” says Shantha Mohan, treasurer of the association.

Now, in a spirit of volunteering, the Association is helping residents of a neighbouring area — Thirumalai Nagar — though it does not come under its purview.

“Third Cross Street in Thirumalai Nagar became a containment zone on April 29 when three members of a family — two children and their father — tested positive for COVID - 19. It is said the father runs a vegetable shop at Thirumalai Nagar and is a regular visitor to the Koyambedu market. The Corporation wanted our association to help those residents in buying essentials. We agreed to help, and shared our phone numbers with those residents so that they could inform us about their requirements. Whenever they need water, groceries, and vegetables, we arrange for these to be delivered to them” says Shantha Mohan.

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