In a first of its kind initiative, community leaders of Srinivasapuram, a slum colony off Marina Loop Road have joined hands with Chennai Corporation and local police to prevent virus spread in this area.
Since the past few weeks, the colony with thousands of middle class and lower-middle-class families have been reporting a cluster of virus cases.
Lined by tightly packed houses, it has domestic helpers, fishermen, painters, carpenters, auto drivers among others.
According to a civic worker, who surveys this area, Srinivasapuram has 28 virus cases now.
Hence, the community leaders, popularly called as thalaivars by the locals have started devising steps to tackle the virus spread here.
Says Kavitha, a resident of this area, “After consulting with the Corporation and police officers, the leaders have allotted volunteers to monitor small areas within our colony.”
The volunteers, she says are youngsters residing in their area.
Now, every day after 2 pm, these volunteers go around monitoring their designated zones on their bikes. “They discourage residents from crowding and make sure no shop is open after 2 pm. They also insist people to wear masks if they want to go out in an emergency. The volunteers too wear masks and take all precautions while doing their jobs.”
She says the youngsters will be at their posts till night. “They also keep an eye on the residents in the mornings.”
Earlier, when only the police was monitoring the area, Kavitha says people didn’t follow any precautions. “But now, as all are scared of community leaders, they are following rules.”
“A few weeks ago, people use to secretly go for fishing in the late evenings. All that has also stopped after these leaders stepped up, ” she says.
- Picture: file photo of medical camp at Srinivasapuram