Chennai

Valasaravakkam resident supports the local police in campaign to check Coronavirus spread

Along with Dheenadayalan, the Valasaravakkam traffic police personnel distribute pamphlets to motorists at Mega Mart junction in Alwarthirunagar. Photo: D. Madhavan

Along with Dheenadayalan, the Valasaravakkam traffic police personnel distribute pamphlets to motorists at Mega Mart junction in Alwarthirunagar. Photo: D. Madhavan  

Dheenadayalan is said to look for opportunities to help the khaki-clad personnel

The local police can count on him to lend them a helping hand whenever they launch any new initiative in the locality, be it increased patrolling or a new traffic decongestion measure.

That is 42-year-old M. Dheenadayalan, a resident of Valsaravakkam and a friend of the local police force. He interacts with the police personnel with the easy familiarly of a long-time associate. In his garage, he repairs the vehicles of the local police – the patrol jeeps and the official vehicles of police vehicles. It is a work he has been carrying out since 1996, but his popular standing with the local police derives from their view of him as an enabler.

A week ago, when the local police were putting their heads together on how to run a campaign highlighting the need for social distancing and taking all the other precautionary measures to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus, Dheenadayalan pitched in with an offer of support.

He took up the work of having posters and pamphlets printed for the campaign, and met the costs involved.

“Dheenadayalan is a socially conscious resident of the locality. After getting the nod of our higher-ups, we supported his move to provide free pamphlets on COVID-19. For such campaigns, we primarily use such awareness materials sourced from the government stores, but what he offered has been of help too,” says M. Selvam, inspector (traffic wing), Valasaravakkam police station.

Dheenadayalan is also said to have joined with the local police, going from door-to-door and heading to busy junctions, to assist them in the campaign.

The posters and pamphlets, which carry the messages provided by the local police, were distributed not only within the Valasaravakkam police station limits, but also in areas under the jurisdiction of a few other police stations -- Virugambakkam, Royala Nagar, West Mambalam and Vadapalani – that are in the T. Nagar Police District.

Royapettah police also benefited from his generosity, receiving over 1,000 pamphlets on COVID-19.

Dheenadalayan, a mechanic who moved from Triplicane to Vasalavakkam many years ago, sets aside three to four hours every day towards helping the local police in traffic regulation, helmet awareness campaign and similar work.

During the 2019 monsoon, he gave away rain coats to around 100 police personnel, drawn from Valasaravakkam, Royala Nagar and West Mambalam police stations.

“As I am working with the police for many years, repairing their vehicles, I understand them better than most other residents in the locality. So, I wanted to help them and others in a small way,” says Dheenadalayan.

The larger campaign

In this COVID-19 awareness campaign by the police stations under the T. Nagar police district, key junctions and roads in the region, including Mega Mart junction in Alwarthirunagar, Nesapakkam Main Road, Arasan tree junction, Arcot Road, Porur junction, Ashok Pillar, South and North Usman Road, Duraiswamy subway and Vadapalani junction, were covered.

Each police station was provided with at least one sound system for the purpose. Police patrol vehicles with hand-held speakers ensured the messages were echoed well into the interior streets in the T. Nagar police district.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:11:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/valasaravakkam-resident-supports-the-local-police-in-campaign-to-check-coronavirus-spread/article31161611.ece

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