DLF Phase 4 Broadcast June 5
Ridgewood Estate, Regency Park 1 & 2, Hamilton Court and Plots
How Is Your Business Unlocking: Part 1
With Inputs from Shelly Khanna (Hamilton) and Capt. Jainenedra Pant (Ridgewood)
Shelly Khanna was in conversation with Vikash Aggrawal who runs a manufacturing unit of Leather products in Manesar, Gurgaoan
Vikash said “Following the Government laid guidelines, we opened up the unit following the safety measures, sanitization and precautions. The strength of the labour has gone down to 50% as they moved back home after the lockdown opened as the uncertainty and lack of clear guidelines by the Government mislead or confused with the workers. They preferred to stay close with their families in this time of crisis. The workers coming to the factory to work have gone down everywhere and at the moment brunt is not felt as the work is also minimalistic. Work from home option has been given to few departments/ employees looking into the travel distances and safety but a paradigm shift as of now has not been made in the manufacturing house”.
The work has no doubts, pulled down or would say it is like starting from the scratch and the only mantra being followed in the industry is to able to survive. It would take time and can not be predicated how much but yes, he feels minimum six months would be taken to come back on track. Mr. Vikas says, that everyone in the Industry is presently thinking of how to sustain in the present time. He feels it is an extremely tough time especially for the MSME’S and shares his apprehension that few business houses have to shut down in this situation inspite of the finance minister financial packages or Banks interest extension offered. He believes that at the moment we are all trapped in a tunnel with no light and most crucial thing at this moment is to keep walking with a hope that there would light on the other side of the tunnel. Very aptly put by him that the present challenge is a ‘human crisis’ and can be sorted only by engaging, networking, awareness and most essential communicating with our friends, colleagues, workers, family members and society. The optimism has to be instilled back and most essential is to bring back the ‘RAY of HOPE’ among the people, make them believe that things are / would be coming to new normal by following a few planned steps.
Capt. Pant from Ridgewood spoke with a few business owners including a sporting event company who said “Sports now requires extra measures especially contact sports. For indiviadual sports mostly at-home sanitary measures should be good enough.
Sports after covid has been about taking measures to leverage moratoriums of any sort. Pivoting or awareness programs. I’m more on the latter side. Recreational sports works closely in tune with entertainment, Gym and fitness models.
Panic is evident, and there is drastic fall in nos. We’ve pivoted by participating and promoting educational/awareness related programs and products. Yet to monetise though.”
A real estate broker/developers said “All my staff has gone back to their native places We have scaled down for now and waiting for things to improve. Think the fear is right in its place and since the virus is so new and they are still researching on its effects, people are rightly fearful. Have reduced my overheads and am in the wait for breakthrough medical fraternity May find Things are really difficult For now.”
One thing which came out during the interviews was the optimistic approach, Entrepreneurial Spirit of never give-up, motivating and encouraging everyone around.
Bend it Like Naira
by Manisha Dua (Regency Park 2, 98105 44892)
17-year-old, Naira Bagchi (d/o Apoorva Bagchi), student of Ridge Valley School and a resident of Regency Park 2 (Y Block) is an avid footballer. She held the football first when she was in grade 3 and has never looked back ever since. What started off as ‘Fun’ for a little girl, grew into a passion as the years rolled by. She joined the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School to take her passion to the next level. She attributes her football love and spirit to the good coaches and her consistent hard work.
A year ago, when the HT-GIFA (Hindustan Times – Great Indian Football Action) was announced, Naira contacted friends and acquaintances across schools of Delhi-NCR and put together a girls team within 2-weeks. The girls had never played with each other before and the team got down practicing every morning to prepare for the tournament. Naira pitched in to support the team at various positions including goal keeping during a crucial semi-final match. Naira and her team achieved the impossible and went on to lift the trophy. When Naira was asked, how they achieved this amazing victory, she smiled and quietly said, “All that we wanted was to Win!”
Besides the HT-GIFA, Naira has also played Nationals thrice for the CBSE All India in the SGFI (School Games Federation of India) Tournament. She has won various accolades over the years. Currently she is playing for the BBFS U-17 team in the Khelo India Football League. She is the Captain of the team.
The passion for football has engrained a strong sense fitness in Naira and the lockdown caused a huge challenge for her and her friends. Not one to give up so easily, Naira along with her friends created a website by the name (R)evolution which is to help people like her to get their fitness drive back. She got strong support from her sister Maisha, who is a dance enthusiast and a ballet dancer. Naira dreams of encouraging people to exercise and push themselves to become better versions of themselves. She believes that everyone should play a sport, because it teaches you to rise after every fall which is an important life lesson from a teenager.
Her goal is to create a name for herself in the global football landscape, and going by her spirit and never say no attitude, we are sure she will make it someday.
Follow Naira on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nairabagchi
And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naira.bagchi
Get inspired about your fitness….Check out the (R)evolution page at
http://r-e-volution.net/ (launching soon)
Domestic Workers Are Leaving The City!
We Need To Act Now
by Jyoti Grover (South City-1, 98100 71537)
Just as COVID has disrupted our lives and continues to do so in areas hitherto unimagined, I am constantly reminded of how being home interminably has scheduled our daily hours...For a lark, I drew up the unending list of household chores that my family and I have personally been immersed in these last few months and this list is really telling.
The absence of the familiar house support has never been so sorely missed !!
While some residents do have their part-timers rejoining in bits and starts; a few residents from the community reached out to me regarding the availability of domestic staff. On cue I set out to find out the ground reality.
The reality is that gardeners part-time maids, drivers, security staff are scarce and this availability will only get worse. There has been a mass exodus from Chakkarpur, Sainikhera, Silokhra, Jharsa, and clusters of urban slums around South City 1 and DLF-4 which housed most of our domestic supports. The remainders, I spoke to, also shared that many of them plan to leave in the next few weeks. For most, financial insecurity coupled with the dread of the pandemic led to their exit. A lot who remain, are also facing trouble from the law enforcement.
This data surprised me. If full salaries are being paid by residents, why would labor leave and exit in such numbers? In my conversations with residents, staff, and landlords, I received very conflicting responses. Most employers claimed that they have been paying regular monthly wages to their house helps since March 2020. Maids, drivers, and gardeners rued that very few have received a full salary. In fact, 70% or more part-timers received only 35 % to 40 % of their monthly wage. With their spouses out of work ( since factories and retail are shut and only partially reopening ) and rental liability ranging from 3500 to 6000 a month, most domestic workers are living with a huge financial burden. Add living expenses and lack of medical cover; it is practically difficult for them to continue with the status quo. Landlords have their own tales to narrate with many of their rooms being vacated some in the middle of the night to avoid paying piling debts
With increasing demand, the average wage which today ranges from 6000 to 12000 for an 8-hour workload is set to rise, and more importantly, what are the odds that this lot will be available for work in the future?
The situation today is that this major section of the informal economy is a marginalized group with a precarious livelihood, and the extent of their socio-economic vulnerability has been exposed since the lockdown. Their fear of the pandemic and the anticipated surge in illness is also very real as confirmed In a recent serological survey by ICMR that urban slums have a higher propensity to be infected
So what does this mean for us? Time for RWA's and residents, the DLF-4 community to come up with an inclusive intervention that recognizes our symbiotic relationship and creates an ecosystem that nurtures and develops people who help us
Here are some suggestions that I urge you all to consider :
Create a bureau for domestic workers at the community level. This bureau can be the local registration authority for prospective job seekers. The bureau should also look at work-related wage rates (factoring in the minimum wages Act) and medical and pensionary benefits for the unorganised workforce
Additionally, the bureau could coordinate
Beneficiary life and medical insurance. ( I am not a great fan of EPFO or ESI and strongly suggest private insurance covers, savings, and medical support. The large numbers should get the private operators /NGOs involved skilling programs to help family members get trained in specific skills be it babysitting, cooking driving, or horticulture for better employability. Basic legal literacy especially relating to IPC, POSH and POCSO
Anganwadis and childcare spaces for maids to leave their young ones in the care of responsible adults.
Talent Discovery sessions. This category has hidden talents waiting to be discovered. All they need is a platform and an opportunity
Admission and tuition support for workers children through tie-ups with local schools
Mental health support. This section of society is as vulnerable to mental health issues as us They need opportunities for socialization and celebration and access to experts in the event of mental health issues
Should you see merit in these proposals do write to us at Samvada. Write to us at
A Doctors Clinic During Corona
Dr. Sonia Bhalla's Memoir During Corona Times
by Dr. Sonia Bhalla (X Block, Regency Park-2)
How this one small virus has created a havoc, creating a major roadblock in our daily lives.
Till 22nd march, it was a disease affecting other countries but India did seem to be safer. And then came the lockdown which was initially thought to be only for a few days and was in way welcome as everyone forcibly got to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle. However, soon the impact started to sink in as the country realized the long term losses we will incur due the pandemic.
Being a new virus, not much was known about it, and our doctor fraternity was unsure how to go about seeing patients. Thus started rounds of video call consultations, but it was nowhere close to examining face to face. The challenges of trying to attend to patients through pictures sent on whatsapp, but then what was the choice. The scare was equal among the doctors and the patients. As a doctor I was concerned not just about contracting the infection but being the cause of infection to my patients. The latter being a risk I did not want to take initially. However soon came a time when I had to start going to the clinic as I felt the need to see those who had problems which couldn’t be checked through a video call. But the big question…how to sanitise? How to take care of the interaction between patients to minimize the chances of transmission of infection!
We loaded up on sanitisers and the IR thermometer and the N95 masks and the Goggles along with the face shields and gloves and…..well the list didn’t seem to stop. With all precautions in place and with the best level of hygiene that was possible, the clinic started functioning with limited timings. Ofcourse not to forget, I have a head bath daily on return to complete the process (something I have always hated doing). To ease up my effort, I called a friend staying in the same building and requested her to chop my hair (which she did very well considering that this was her first time ever!). The lockdown surely brought out some hidden talents.
With all this planning we also put in a system for taking care of sanitization in the clinic. Starting with training the staff for extra precautions, cleaning of the clinic, sanitizing everyone’s hands when they enter the clinic, moving out a few of the waiting area chairs to increase the distance between patients, giving appointments with time gap, cleaning the chair and the machines after every round of consultation.
Now that we are into the 3rd month of lockdown/ partial lockdown/ partial opening, life seems to be totally changed and the sanitization, masks, ppe kits, distancing seems to be here to stay for some time!!
Ridgewood Helps the Migrants
by Harjinder Kaur (L 24 Ridgewood)
Many of us witnessed endless trails of people on National highways in many states, carrying their belongings on heads, along with families co-workers, children sitting on theirs shoulders or walking along barefooted; almost shattered-their stories watched on TV Channels, Newspapers all filled-up with heart-touching Photos with indescribable pain on faces since last of April.
Ridgewood residents with restricted movements during the lockdown talked about the plight of migrant workers on the whatsapp group. Sangeeta Nayar a resident coordinated with Hemkunt Foundation, whose mission is 'Not let any person sleep hungary-Sarbat da bhala", on day-to-day basis started with Roti Sewa collection from Ridgewood with Sewa help done by many ladies of all ages from different blocks for migrant workers continuously from 15th-29th May approx 1855 packs of 4 Rotis each.
It was so overwhelming to see that residents not only sent Rotis but added crates of Buiscuits. Milk, Chanch, Juices, Bread Packs, Fruits, Dry ration soaps, and sugar also volunteered to deliver collections to different places to Hemkunt Foundation for further distribution to Migrants on the roads.
On 24th May Rooh Afza, milk and sugar were sent for Chabeel and many from Ridgewood ladies also went for Chabeel Sewa at ARDEE CHOWK with the foundation.
"After a while, we found that the migrants are in more need of footwear at the moment. So we adapted to this need" says a resident. Ridgewood collectively pooled funds in coordination with RECA and donated 1200 chappals! with the active support of Gurpreet Ji to the Foundation.
Please! Lockdown Is Not Summer Vacation For Us
by Rohan Khosla (M Block, Ridgewood Estate)
It was a lazy Saturday afternoon in BITS Goa when I got an innocent email asking me to go home for two weeks due to the novel coronavirus. Three months later, I’m still at home.
For many students like myself, life in college seemed like a reward for our two years of hard work and dedication. We would play sports, attend campus events, roam around the city, spend all night watching movies, and sometimes ‘try’ to study. But this blissful period didn’t last too long. The spread of the virus resulted in us having to go home and spend time attending online lectures, submitting assignments through Google Classroom, or endlessly browsing through YouTube because there was nothing better to do. My life, like countless others, became extremely sedentary.
I miss my friends and the interactions that we used to have. We used to walk into each other’s rooms unannounced and just chat or play music and video games. The spontaneity is lost. Now everything has to be planned according to everyone’s free time. Although we’ve kept in touch through Whatsapp, it’s not the same. We can’t meet each other in person. We can’t randomly start playing some chords or rap to a beat. We can’t play football at eleven in the night or watch cricket matches together. Things are different and it’s hard to embrace that fact.
People assume that for teenagers like me, this is a summer vacation where we spend time at home. But they forget that summer vacations meant hanging out with friends, swimming early in the morning, playing basketball, going to restaurants for dinner, etc. None of that is possible anymore and the task of keeping ourselves busy has become harder than ever. Moreover, the undefined duration of the pandemic has made things worse. When do we return to uni? When do we get to meet our friends? When will we give our exams? What are my grades? These questions are rarely answered leaving us with little to no satisfaction.
Despite the overwhelming negatives of the global lockdown, it would be criminal to not mention the positives. I've learned new skills such as programming and video editing during my free time. I’ve spent some quality time with my parents watching TV shows, playing carrom and cooking. I understand how hard it is to manage a house daily. It has made me appreciate the decisions my parents took for my well being and how fortunate I am to be where I am. The biggest positives are that I don't need to eat less food and that my friends and family are safe. Yes, those are in the correct order.
Lockdown surrounded by a sea of proverbs and idioms
By Heena Kharod H -84, Ridgewood Estate
We are surrounded by a world of proverbs and idioms. The scenario during lockdown may be best described by usage of multiple proverbs and idioms. On seeing the plight of developed countries after the deadly outbreak, it became evident that it is better to be poor and healthy rather than rich and sick. Undoubtedly, health is wealth.
Taking a cue from these countries, India realized that a stitch in time saves nine. The Indian government’s decision to lockdown our country was followed by the decision of several RWAs to lockdown their societies. The frontline staff of sanitation workers and security guards, the lifeline of every society, was housed in their premises during this period. A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step. During this journey, everyone put their best foot forward. The RWAs with their team of members complementing each other, prove that team work makes the dream work. While they were clearly in the driver’s seat, several residents volunteered to meet the daily requirements of this workforce. Indeed, many hands make light work. With limited society funds, several residents donated rations, cooking gas, money and even cooked delicacies to meet the food requirements of this staff. Some even offered their vacant flats to house them.
Undoubtedly, small drops of water form an ocean. Every cloud has a silver lining. The crisis brought residents together. It showed to them that unity is strength and it can achieve the unthinkable. Several residents learnt to be self-reliant in doing their household chores. For those who could not devote enough time to their families due to work-related travel, the lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise. Most residents have been obeying stringent government guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks to protect themselves. They realise that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Besides, prevention is better than cure. Covid-19 is here to stay for a while. It is important to take all necessary precautions to protect ourselves from its onslaught, but the show must go on. Besides, worrying never did anyone any good. What can’t be cured must be endured. As was rightly said by Roy. T. Bennett - Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create. Finally, let’s keep the hope alive because there is always light at the end of a tunnel and it is always darkest before dawn.
Restoration of Sikanderpur Water Body & Forest Will Be A Game changer
by Rahul Chandola (H Block DLF-1, 9811050731)
Sikanderpur Watershed & Restoration of the Forest is spread over 80 acres, from Sikanderpur village to Gurgaon-Faridabad road and is mainly covered with Villayati Keekar. The large pond is created by blockage of a seasonal stream that originated in the hills behind the residential colony. In its current form, the pond is a cesspool of sewage and wastewater it receives from the Sikanderpur village, and neighbouring office complexes.
The objective of the project is to develop the Sikanderpur pond and water body into a wetland and biodiversity hotspot, with clean water and forestation to create a green lung for Gurgaon while providing public space in a natural environment for leisure and community activities.
The restoration of the forest belt was started last year with the planting of 13, 764 saplings. The physical cleaning of the pond and the areas around is in progress. This project is in collaboration with GMDA and will take a couple of years to complete.
I was very fortunate, pleased &ecstatic to see the development of the Sikanderpur watershed slowly turning into reality . on 05th June 2020 I was lucky enough to visit the Sikanderpur watershed with one of the founding members of I am Gurgaon Latika Thukral ……. She proudly showed me the developments undertaken to convert the swamp into the dream project of I am Gurgaon & GMDA which will ensure a walking track, home for various species & will be a source of fresh air& water for many species. I was also fortunate that our area Muncipal councilor R S Rathee was also there along with a resident from H block Mr Arun Jain was also stunned to see the change especially it falls right behind his house.
I can already visualize residents walking in a Paradise converted out of a swamp. ...... The plan is also to ensure the rainwater which just overflows is also diverted into the upcoming Nature’s Paradise.