Chennai

RA Puram residents keep their promise

Conservancy workers receive a food parcel. Photo: special arrangement

Conservancy workers receive a food parcel. Photo: special arrangement  

An army marches on its stomach — so goes the famous saying. Conservancy workers are a civic army, working boldly and indefatigably every day to keep public places clean, despite the pandemic.

When the lockdown began, the Raja Annamalaipuram Residents’ Association (RAPRA) decided that they would feed this “army” with breakfast, and they are holding themselves to that promise.

Dr. R. Chandrasekaran, founder, RAPRA, says, “The breakfast is delivered to conservancy workers’ workplaces through the supervisors. The breakfast is sponsored by the residents and members of the Association. Sponsors are on a waiting list — that is the level of enthusiasm residents have shown for this cause.”

The breakfast menu includes – sets of puris, dosas and idlies and one sweet as accompaniment. At periodic intervals, the association provides lunch to the staff. Earlier, a chain of a popular restaurants offered lunch to them, for a period of time.”

S. Ravi Kumar, secretary, RAPRA, says, “The staff come from far-off places. The staff have to assemble at an designated pick-up and drop point at a stipulated time to be able to access the bus provided for them. So, the staff have to leave for work early in the morning, and there is no time for them to prepare breakfast.”

RAPRA pooled in money and bought cycles for two conservancy staff, who would walk all the way from Royapettah to Alwarpet, which is the assembly point for the conservancy staff.

As a result, the work efficiency of the staff have improved, Chandrasekaran points out.

Besides, members of the Association have distributed financial aid and provided essential commodities to the conservancy workers.

On special occasions in their families, which include birthdays and wedding anniversaries, some residents make it a point to give the conservancy staff special breakfast and lunch.

The bond is such that residents of an apartment complex in the locality allowed a conservancy staff to stay in a security guard’s cabin, sparing him the long commute from North Chennai where he is domiciled, points out Ravi Kumar.

Twelve more saplings

Besides, as part of ‘Aadi’ month, RAPRA recently planted saplings of 12 native trees in the neighbourhood. The saplings are secured with tree guards. For a period spanning a year now, RAPRA has planted more than 45 tree saplings. Street representatives, a gardener, and the residents nurture the saplings.

The saplings include ‘vilvam’, ‘sarakonai’, ‘poovarasu’, ‘pungai’and ‘veppam’. The saplings were sourced from a farm on East Coast Road.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 6:57:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ra-puram-residents-keep-their-promise/article32305799.ece

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