Mumbai: Come torrential rains or the unbearable October heat, the 100-odd group of BMC foot soldiers knock on every door to check on people’s health and keep the coronavirus at bay. However, many building associations are not allowing the BMC workers to enter their premises, fearing they will contract the Covid infection from them. As part of the state government’s ‘My Family, My Responsibility' campaign, BMC staffers are going door-to-door, collecting information about everybody’s health.
“Many residents are apprehensive that civic workers are carriers of the virus as they are going from one household to the other. The reason why they are not allowing them inside," said a senior civic health official. As a result, the workers are unable to collect information from many households.
In each BMC ward more than 100 teams of ASHA workers are deployed and each team comprises three members. Congress corporator Asif Zakaria from Bandra said that BMC has roped in ALM members to spread awareness among the residents. “Those who have senior citizens in the family are still apprehensive about allowing outsiders to enter their house. To convince them, ALM members are visiting households along with the BMC workers," he said.
Amit Chavan, a Mahim resident said they won't allow door-to-door tests and will hold fever camps with BMC instead. “The workers visit every household in the same PPE kit. There are children and senior citizens who are vulnerable, so we decided to not allow them,” Chavan said. Deepak Doshi, a resident of Grant Road said that the BMC workers come without any notice. “The ASHA workers visit in the afternoon when senior citizens are taking a nap. When we request them to come later, they tell us to get in touch with the local ward officer," said Doshi.
Harshita Narwekar, BJP corporator of Cuffe Parade, stated many buildings are still maintaining lockdown. “People are not allowing daily household workers and maids in the buildings. Most of the residents of south Mumbai are senior citizens. They are scared,” she said.
However, some residents have decided to voluntarily collect information and hand it out to BMC. Rupesh Dubey, a resident of Kalpana CHS, Borivali said that on Sundays, members of each household queue up in the lobby and get their health conditions monitored by a local doctor. The information is later handed to BMC officials. “There are five buildings in the society. Residents come down and get themselves tested. Time slot is given to each family to ensure social distance. We have finished surveying three buildings. The remaining two will be done on the following Sundays," Dubey said.