This young mother in Visalakshi Thotam needs help. Hails from economically poor family.

Living in a one-room house at Visalakshi Thotam, a colony for the economically poor located off Dr Ranga Road, life has become tough for this young mother.

More so after the area started reporting virus cases.

The colony with narrow lanes and tightly packed houses has over 1500 families. And most of its residents work as daily-wage earners, domestic helpers or painters.

20-something old Vijayalakshmi, a resident of this area delivered her second child a few weeks ago. However, around the same time, virus cases popped up in her backyard.

Soon Chennai Corporation’s nurses began visiting this colony and instructed residents to follow precautions to prevent virus spread.

As Vijalakshmi had just delivered a baby, the nurses asked her to remain indoors and eat nutritious food to boost her immunity.

Says Vijayalakshmi, “The nurses have asked me to take strict precautions as I and my baby are more vulnerable to the virus. But when getting rice and dal itself is difficult for us, how can I eat nutritious food,” she asks.

Even before virus cases came up in their area, Vijayalakshmi says they were finding it difficult to run their family. “Following lockdown, my husband lost his job from a private company. We were somehow surviving with the donations given by political party volunteers and relatives.”

Till now, she says her mother-in-law used to work as a domestic help at a neighbourhood household and provide them provisions. “But after, our area reported virus cases, her employers asked her not to come for work. And so from now on she too won’t be able to support us.”

The rice my mother-in-law gave will come for two more days, after that I don’t know what I will do, Vijayalakshmi says in despair.

Vijayalakshmi also has fears of contracting the virus. “I take all precautions. I wash my hands frequently and wear a mask while feeding the baby. But as I live in a one-room house, it’s suffocating for me to stay inside all the time. So I come out for a while in the evenings.

“Though I wear a cloth mask when I’m outside, I fear contracting the virus as our area is congested. I have no idea how we will manage if our family gets infected,” she says.

People who wish to support her may call 9345000682.


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