After man tests positive, residents of Ambedkar Basti worry about their livelihoodsUpdated: Jun 02, 2020 23:38 IST
After a 21-year old man from an urban slum in Sector-37 tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Monday, a number of other residents in the congested locality have been left worrying about their livelihoods apart from being concerned about the spread of the infection in the area.
Many residents of Ambedkar Basti who work as domestic workers in the neighbouring sectors said after the Covid-19 case emerged, their employers fear the infection could spread through them prompting many resident groups to bar their entries in housing societies.
Gali No 3 of Ambedkar Basti, from where the case was reported, houses hundreds of people who work as domestic helps, gardeners, guards and drivers in the nearby upscale residential area Arun Vihar (spread over sectors 28, 29 and 37). Many of these workers said they were expecting to join work from June 1 following a two-month-long hiatus in the wake of the nationwide lockdown, but now their plans have gone up in the air.
Suparna Haldar and Chandana Haldar, who work as domestic helps in Arun Vihar, said even as they were scared of the virus spread, being left two months without wages had rendered them helpless and in desperate need of getting back to their jobs.
“ We had received no salaries for April and May, and I was supposed resume work in Sector 27 yesterday. However, our employers asked us to go back home because of this one case,” said Suparna.
Sunita Kundru, another resident of Ambedkar Basti was facing similar issues. “I did not earn anything in the last two months and in this period I received no financial support from the families I work for or from the government. We received only 10-kilo wheat and 10-kilo rice from as ration per month,” said Sunita.
“Police officers came to the locality and asked the people living in the house where the suspect resides not to step outside, but they would not listen at all. It’s only after the people of the Basti started to object, that they finally went inside their home. Now it’s because of them that we can’t work either,” said Shyam Lal, a resident of Ambedkar Basti, who cleans cars in the neighbouring sectors.
Suneeta Devi, another resident of the area, said on Tuesday she was asked to return from the entry gates of the housing society in Sector 27 where she works as a domestic help.
Keeping in mind the well being of the residents and fearing a community spread through the residents of Ambedkar Basti, the resident welfare association(RWA) of Arun Vihar has advised its residents to stay cautious.
“It’s a difficult situation as most of the helping staff that works here as guards, helps and others live in Ambedkar Basti where a man tested Covid-19 positive on Monday. A few gates were opened and some families are still letting them in and allowing them to resume work. Some families have also called their drivers back on duty. However, we have advised the residents to not let the workers from the basti to join work in a bid to contain the virus from spreading,” said Colonel (Retd.) Shashi Vaidh, chairman, RWA, Arun Vihar.
Meanwhile, administration officials said new cases are being tracked closely, and residents in areas from where the cases are reported are being advised against socialising.
“All positive patients are being taken to the isolation centres, and their contacts have been asked to remain inside their homes as much as possible,” said Dr Deepak Ohri, chief medical officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Officials said that they are also carrying out sanitisation drives in all the areas.
“Our teams are conducting sanitisation drives and spraying disinfectants in all areas where new cases are being reported. Even today, we sanitised over 25 localities and the process will continue,” said Dr Shireesh Jain, assistant chief medical officer.