Door-to-door survey: Volunteers complain of residents misbehaving, RWAs say they weren’t consulted
A volunteer, requesting anonymity, said residents of Greater Kailash-1 (GK-1) asked for proof that she was part of the survey -- she said she was not allowed to enter several households.Updated: Nov 22, 2020, 03:28 IST
Several volunteers carrying out the door-to-door Covid-19 survey in Delhi on Saturday said residents in a few localities “misbehaved” with them and did not answer their queries, prompting residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) to say that there was a lack of awareness about the survey and many volunteers were not carrying any identity proof or authorisation.
The Delhi government on Friday started the door-to-door survey to screen people for Covid-19, encourage more testing, and to ascertain the number of high-risk individuals. The survey is expected to cover around 5.8 million people – more than one-fourth of Delhi’s total population of around 20 million.
On Day 2, the survey work was hit as volunteers faced problems of cooperation and mistrust. A volunteer, requesting anonymity, said residents of Greater Kailash-1 (GK-1) asked for proof that she was part of the survey -- she said she was not allowed to enter several households.
“The government has not issued any identity card or document proof for the survey work. We were asked to produce one before entering any block but we could not. We had to complete 30 households on Tuesday but because of resistance from residents we could cover only 10 by 4pm,” she said.
Around 9,500 teams of health officials and civic agency employees, other government employees, civil defence volunteers (CDVs), home guards, and government school teachers, are conducting the survey.
Rajiv Kakria, member, RWA in GK-1, said, “How would anyone let a stranger in or respond to their queries relating to family details and medical history without them showing any identity proof or authorisation letter? I got calls from residents about the activity happening in the area. I then contacted a few government officials who assured us that the survey was government approved. It took a lot of time to resolve the issue.”
But in south Delhi’s Navjeevan Vihar, the local RWA said it had received a communication from the district magistrate’s office regarding the survey a day before and they circulated the message to all residents. “We have requested the DM’s office to issue a letter or some form of ID to volunteers,” said Ruby Makhija, secretary, Navjeevan Vihar RWA.
District officials, however, said they are involving resident bodies. A senior district official said, “On, Thursday SDMs held a video conferencing with the prominent RWAs, requesting their cooperation.”
Sunil Kumar, a government school teacher conducting the survey work in localities around Rajauri Garden, said that the process went smooth for him on Saturday. “I did not encounter any misbehaviour. There are some people who are not cooperating but we are trying to convince them. The process would be smoother if we had some authorisation document with us,” he said.
“The survey is going smoothly. We are monitoring day-to-day developments. We have sought cooperation from RWAs and other stakeholders and the response has been good,” said Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev.