People Chennai

Residents spare a thought for conservancy workers

It is a week since residents of Kasturba Nagar in Adyar started providing breakfast to conservancy workers. They did it last March when the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID 19 came into effect as many eateries remained closed. They continued till relaxations in lockdown were introduced and eateries were allowed to do business.

Now again, they have started it following the full lockdown imposed by the State from May 10. But this time, they have scaled it up.

“Last year, we provided breakfast to workers of Kasturba Nagar alone. There were only a handful of them. But this time, we are reaching out to workers of the entire Ward 175 which includes Nehru Nagar, Bhakthavathsalam Nagar, Indira Nagar and Kamarajar Avenue. That is around 50 workers.

Unlike last year, now we have hired a caterer to supply food. Last year, some of our residents took turns and cooked food,” says Janani Venkitesh who coordinates this initiative.

Likewise, Meera Ravi Kumar is leading a similar initiative in Gandhi Nagar.

“It is only a few days since we started this service. Our colony has around 20 conservancy workers — 12 sweepers and eight drivers of battery-operated vehicles. Some come from faraway places like Kasimedu. They are at our colony by 6 a.m. We have hired the services of a caterer for this purpose. A good number of our residents are supporting this cause. It is a gesture to express our gratitude to their relentless service when the second wave of the pandemic is raging” says Meera Ravi Kumar.

At Kalakshetra Colony in Besant Nagar also, residents are providing breakfast to conservancy workers

“In addition to our colony workers, we are providing food to the workers of the neighbouring colonies, Lakshmipuram and Odaikuppam as well,” says Archana Hari, a resident volunteer.

At Valmiki Nagar in Thiruvanmiyur, the Valmiki Nagar Residents Welfare Association has come up with a similar service.

“Last year also we provided breakfast. We have restarted this due to the current lockdown. Instead of hiring a caterer, the Association has given the job of cooking to a resident of a TNSCB (Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board) tenement in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, which is nearby. She is Karpagambal. A cook in a house, she has been rendered jobless due to the surge in COVID 19 cases. Hence, we roped her in for this job. She is paid Rs.750 per day for this work,” says Jayanthi Premchander, a resident volunteer.

All the aforementioned residents are conscious of minimal waste generation.

They have been spreading awareness about the importance of waste segregation and waste composting among the residents of their respective colonies.

Hence, they ensured that their food distribution initiative should not end up in generation of waste. They wanted to keep it as minimum as possible.

Therefore, they went the environment-friendly way.

In Kasturba Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, food was distributed in steel and melamine plates. Kasturba Nagar hired the plates whereas residents donated plates in Gandhi Nagar.

Likewise, in Valmiki Nagar, conservancy workers bring their plates. And in Kalakshetra Colony, food wrapped in paper and plantain leaves were distributed. Residents of all the four colonies ensured that plastic packaging items do not show up in their initiatives.

Moreover, the residents have set up drinking water facilities in a few streets for the benefit of conservancy workers as summer is at its peak.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 8:18:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/residents-spare-a-thought-for-conservancy-workers/article34620870.ece

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