• Adyar Times

A show of support to conservancy workers

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

Apr.14, the Tamil New Year, couldn’t be a better occasion to honour the support extended by the conservancy workers during this lockdown period. Residents of Zone 13 crowdfunded Rs.22 lakh for the workers who are striving to keep our city clean, with great sincerity. The amount collected would be distributed among the workers.

Jayanthi, from Valmiki Nagar, said, “Residents from the 12 wards of Zone 13 have contributed to this cause.” Assuring the conservancy workers, she said, “We are there for you. This money is our show of appreciation for the support rendered to us.”

Nonagenarian Kamakshi Subramaniyan, from Besant Nagar, sent a video message to the workers that was played to them. “I wish to be a kumari again and be among you. Today, I want to applaud you. Tomorrow when your children grow and they have children, they are going to show around areas in our zone and proudly tell, ‘My parents helped keep this area clean even during the CoronaVirus.’”

Ravi, Zonal Project Head with Ramky Enviro Engineers, appreciated the sincerity of the workers coming to work each and every day irrespective of their circumstances and said, “Our support to the city will never diminish irrespective of any circumstances. The contribution of the residents shows that there are people who respect us - something that we always felt lacking.”

One of the conservancy workers, Sudha, also spoke, “It is heartwarming to see the contribution from the residents. I also want to appreciate the ward supervisors who have encouraged us to come each day.” She also encouraged all the workers to have the courage and the need to keep our city as clean as we do our homes.

Dr. Alby John Varghese, RDC, South, also applauded the conservancy workers and the staff while also thanking the residents of Zone 13 and the people behind the initiative.

Words of caution

The Regional Deputy Commissioner, South, Dr.Alby John Varghese, shared words of caution during his interaction with the conservancy staff, on Apr.14.

How are you all coming to work every day?” asked the RDC. Everybody in unison said that they were being picked up from their homes. “Are you all getting new masks every day?” he asked as the workers nodded. He also checked on the workers wearing masks and asked them to wash them thoroughly after each use. He also stressed on the importance of wearing the mask properly. “It has to cover your nose as well properly. It cannot be dangling loosely. You should not also be always adjusting it with your hand,” he cautioned. The RDC also stressed on the need for frequent handwashing.

During his conversation, the RDC also commended the staff on their efforts in keeping the city clean. “The city is cleaner now and it is because of all our efforts. Let us continue to do the same,” he said. He also asked if the workers felt that the amount of garbage had reduced, the workers said that though there has not been much reduction in the quantity, door to door collection by them has contributed to the cleaner environment.

The RDC also asked the workers to be cautious while handling garbage, especially when it contains masks. “Do not touch the masks as it could contain saliva and mucus. If need be ask the residents to wrap the masks and dispose,” he said.

Follow our tradition to keep the virus at bay

Selvi is one of the conservancy workers working at Karpagam Gardens. While going around with her work, she has taken the herbal way to protect herself from the virus.

Selvi takes out a big yellow handkerchief to show what she has up her sleeves. “This is a big waste of cloth that I had at home. Every day, after the cloth is washed, I dip it properly in turmeric water and then wear it while working. Apart from being antibiotic, the turmeric smell also keeps away the pungent smell of the garbage that we handle,” she explains while demonstrating how to fold the cloth and tie it around the face.

This is not her only precaution. “There are plenty of neem trees around where I stay. Every day, I bring a branch of the tree to work and put them around our tricycle. We can also hang neem leaves bunches around our house. We have been following that for ages when someone in the house was affected by the chickenpox virus.

Selvi’s thoughtful initiatives have been applauded by many with the hope that many other conservancy workers follow the same for safety.

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