City’s resounding applause of thanks for healthcare workersUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 00:37 IST
With poetries, claps, drums, utensils and songs, city residents stood in solidarity with the medical fraternity dealing with Covid-19 cases. Some started five minutes early than the designated time of 5pm, while others live-streamed the event to reach out to their friends and family.
Naveed Afroz, a mechanical engineer from Chembur, did not expect so many people to turn up in solidarity and follow the clap call, and was surprised when 60% of the society was out; one person even came with a dhol.
“My family and I were just waiting around; we didn’t expect so many people to come to their balcony. At 4.55pm, almost everyone was out. It indeed showed we are all together in this time of crisis. However, the noise pollution from banging of utensils could have been avoided,” he said.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested citizens to be on their terrace and balconies to express their gratitude to all those who are “working 24/7” to fight coronavirus, and observe ‘janta curfew’ on Sunday.
However, people had mixed reaction to the incident, with some calling it phenomenal show of solidarity to some calling it a PR strategy.
For some societies, the idea of the clap call was to gather together and make a ‘community time’, though defying the purpose of the curfew.
Narendra Gada, a host from Ghatkopar, randomly recited a couplet praising the country which he had heard a few months ago, drawing applause from everyone in the nearby societies.
“Our medial workers are like our soldiers. Seeing so many people out in their balcony, I couldn’t resisting doing what I always do, recite a few lines. I thought that was a good way to boost the morale of everyone,” said Gada.
Amrita Bhattacharjee, an activist and a Goregaon resident, was just sitting in her living room, unaware of the clap call, when she heard people around her clapping and banging utensils. “There was a bird sitting in the balcony; when people started banging, the bird got scared and flew away. I am not against showing solidarity for healthcare workers and government employees who are working in these difficult times, but there could have been another way,” she said.
Earlier this month, people in Italy, which is on a complete lockdown with more than 53,000 recorded infections and 4,800 deaths, started coming out on their balconies or leaning out their windows to join together in singing, wherein they coordinated the effort by spreading the word via social media. They also sang their national anthem to applaud healthcare workers.