The number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi is increasing every day posing a major health concern for all. The people of Dharavi are living in fear. Most of the people in Dharavi live in small houses situated in very narrow lanes. However, the people of Dharavi have not given up yet. One housing society in the area has decided to enforce the lockdown themselves.
Till now over 168 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Dharavi. It is one of the largest slums in the world. The actual population of Dharavi is much more because many of them are labourers who come from different states to work and are now trapped inside Dharavi. Aggressive testing and strict lockdown is being implemented in Dharavi, but is it enough?
Dharavi is a huge area and there are not enough officials to ensure the lockdown is strictly followed in the whole area. Therefore, residents of the Evershine Meadows building in Dharavi have come up with their own plan which has been appreciated by officials as well. The building is situated in Baliga Nagar where the first case of coronavirus and death was detected in Dharavi. The area is still a containment zone.
Mohammad Alam Sheikh, the chairman of the society said, “We are the residents of Dharavi. Our zone is amongst the most affected in the city. Mumbai is a huge city and it is not possible for the authorities to reach all of us, this is why we have decided to take an initiative and help our own selves. We have installed a sanitisation chamber, which helps each outsider to get sanitised first and then enter the society,” he said.
“We have made all daily necessities (milk, vegetables and fruits) available inside our society itself so that we do not have to go out. The residents of the apartments take turns and stand on duty for four hours each to ensure that no outsider enters the apartment and also if people are following social distancing or not. So it is a collective responsibility of each one of the citizens to join hands and overcome this tough time,” he added.
He also said, “If we follow all the guidelines cited by the government and keep social distancing then definitely we can defeat this deadly virus.”
Sheikh also added that the society has installed a sanitisation chamber just outside its gates. “This is a step towards making our zone coronavirus free. I would appeal to all the residents of Dharavi that if it is possible for you, please install such chambers. This is for the safety of our family members — all the senior citizens, children everyone. If not the chamber, we must try to keep ourselves sanitized and maintain social distancing,” he said.
Another resident said, “We are very happy with the steps taken by the members. We are all supporting them so that everything can be made available to us at our doorstep and we can maintain social distancing. There are several cases around the zone so all residents of the Evershine Meadow Apartment have cooperated and have taken few steps to fight this deadly virus. We have 240 flats in our apartment complex, we all have united together and are fighting against coronavirus. The government is doing all it can but it is very important for each one of us to go one step further and be very careful during this period.”
When there is a lockdown in the entire country, the housing society has decided to go in for complete self-isolation.