How to comply with COVID-19 lockdown: A Bengaluru apartment shows the way

An apartment community in Yelahanka New Town shows the way in how to adhere to the lockdown while also ensuring the well-being of residents and workers. The community also helped ensure social distancing in the neighbourhood, and supplied food to those in distress.

In this series, individuals, citizen groups and RWAs explain how they have dealt with the COVID-19 crisis in a constructive manner. In the fourth part of the series, the president of an apartment association describes the measures they took.

COVID-19 pandemic has tragically brought home the truth of the age-old Sanskrit saying Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, meaning ‘the world is one family’. With this thought in mind, the management committee of Century Saras, an apartment complex in Yelahanka New Town, formed a task force for dealing with the COVID-19 threat immediately after the national lockdown was announced.

The task force took the following actions to ensure the safety and health of about 500 residents in our apartment complex:

  • All domestic workers, housekeeping and other daily workers were given paid leave and their entry stopped.
  • The entry of all vendors inside the premises was terminated. Deliveries of milk, gas cylinders, groceries, food, etc had to be collected in-person by the residents, at the gate.
  • Food and accommodation facilities were arranged within our complex for security personnel and STP/WTP technicians.
  • The next step was imposing restrictions on residents. Residents could visit the local market only between 8 am and 11 am to buy essential supplies.
  • Residents were advised to not invite guests and to temporarily stop visiting others’ homes. All residents were forced to stay put in their respective homes.
  • Common facilities such as swimming pool, gym, indoor games area and clubhouse were locked.
Vegetables and groceries are to be picked up from outside the gate. Pic: Shivanand Prabhu
  • The responsibility of maintaining essential services was distributed among the management committee members. These services included power supply, swimming pool maintenance, housekeeping, etc.
  • Residents were asked to disinfect and mop their respective floors in a display of community spirit.
  • Security personnel staying with us were requested to take up maintenance of common areas and disinfect lifts and lobbies in their free time, for which they were paid extra.
  • With all this, we achieved voluntary self-quarantine of all residents.
  • In addition to this, regular spray and disinfection drive is undertaken within the apartment complex with a strict code of wearing a mask and frequent washing of hands.

The notice sent to the residents can be viewed here.

We also expanded our responsibility towards our extended community who live nearby. The management committee and volunteers stepped out with paint and brush to mark out social distancing lines in front of all shops in the market area.

A volunteer marking the social distancing lines in the shops near Century Saras. Pic: Shivanand Prabhu
A volunteer marking social distancing lines in the shops near Century Saras. Pic: Shivanand Prabhu

Our apartment also ensured that migrant workers in our area are supported. Satish Mallya, Secretary of Century Saras Apartment Association and President of North-1 Cluster of BAF (Bangalore Apartments’ Federation), says, “I got a call at around 12 noon on March 31 from a resident that his wife has received an urgent request on Sahai Helpline from a migrant worker. The worker and his wife have a month-old baby, and his younger brother too lives with them. They had run out of food and needed help desperately.”

We had the contact number of the family living in Dwaraka Nagar, near Bagalur in Yelahanka. Satish, along with a fellow resident Hemant Pai, were the first to reach the location. Due to lack of money and food, the baby’s mother had attempted suicide; they had run out of food and LPG two days back. The duo arranged food for the family, but they also found out there were 20-30 families that were probably living in the same condition.

On April 2, we learnt that a government agency had reached out to them. We then decided to distribute grocery kits to 15 migrant workers’ families the next day. Meghana from Godrej Woodsman Estate and Hemant from Century Saras mobilised the required resources from these two apartments. Collectively, 130 relief kits were arranged for migrant families in the area. The funds for the same were collected from residents and individuals.

We, about 500 residents at Century Saras, have followed the government’s and the Prime Minister’s directives in letter and in spirit. As a community, we are now safe and no positive cases of coronavirus have been reported from where we live.

Comments:

  1. Purushotham joshi says:

    Really wonderful example , you and team have set, Prabhu

  2. Arvind Mittimani Delhi. says:

    Well done century saras. Your success story is sure to motivate others.
    Keep it up.
    Take care and be safe.

  3. Sridhar says:

    This is time for community sharing and camaraderie. We, at Aishwarya Agate Owners Association (AAOA) @ J P Nagar I Phase with 48 apartments, have stopped the house hold staff and the support staff from 24.03 and paying their wages, residents clean the common areas, no entry for the visitors, all supplies restricted from outside only at the gate and the Association has arranged for provisions through local support groups.

  4. Vasugigopal says:

    Great.
    Amazing cooperation.

  5. Vikram says:

    This is an over reaction. The BBMP, GoK and police orders have been fairly clear about the dos and don’ts for apartment complexes. Door deliveries of essential items like milk and newspapers, and even ecommerce/home services are allowed. After 20 Apr, even service technicians for appliances are allowed. I don’t see why the RWA is exceeding the govt rules.

  6. Satish says:

    This is not an over reaction as suggested by someone in this post. our community was fully aware of the choices to keep all our neighborhood community in first week of March much before even BBMP issued a first advisory. The proof of these measures are that Yelahanka is still a Green zone even though there are many home quarantine cases before. We are proud of our social responsibility

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