South City-1 Broadcast May 22
All Blocks, The Retreat & The Palms
Retreat Lockdown Diaries
By Mrs Inder Bhandari, Ivory 1305
The lockdown announced by the Prime Minister on 24th March had the residents wondering how they would manage the entire period of 3 weeks, (now till 3rd May). However, it must be said to the credit of the residents of RETREAT that they converted this adversity into an opportunity. Volunteer groups came forward to help the Governing Body manage the Complex.
A Task Force comprising of some residents volunteered to plan out a detailed schedule to be observed by the Residents, in line with the Notifications issued by Gurgaon Administration, from time to time. RETREAT, like other condominiums in South City 1, is fortunate to have its own grocery/vegetables and fruit store, its own Mother Dairy kiosk, and an ATM in the Club House. In short, we are equipped to cater to most of the needs of Residents, in-house.
Senior citizens were requested to stay in-doors and a separate Whatsapp Group was created especially to cater to their specific needs, such as arranging for cooking special meals to cater to their needs in the Club kitchen. This was supervised for hygiene and taste, etc. by a group of young ladies who volunteered to take on the challenge. Volunteers came forward to help with collection of milk/groceries/veggies /newspaper etc. from the Main Gate for delivery at their doorstep.For those wanting medicines, etc from the chemists, these were collected and delivered at their door step. This has been much appreciated by the senior citizens.
The lockdown has been an interesting journey for Residents. It led to the discovery of hidden talent amongst the residents, both children and adults. Competitions have been organized on the Talent Group in the field of painting/ cooking/ singing/ photography. It has been a delight to discover the great skills of young and adults in the especially of painting and cooking. Both men and women have come up with scrumptious and mouth-watering delicacies, including samosas, gulab jamuns, rasgullas, pani-puri, jalebis, chole-bhature, cakes, brownies, exotic recipes from Israel, Italy, Thai, Chinese. And puzzles, to keep everyone engrossed in finding answers. All this activity on Whatsapp!
We have been fortunate to get support from our staff, house-keeping/maintenance and guards. Several agreed to stay in the Complex, and continue to do so, till the lockdown lasts. Food and other facilities are being provided to all staff staying back. A regular training programme is conducted by one of the Residents, along with Members of the Governing Body. To motivate the staff, they are served special food after each training programme. At the last programme, two volunteers from amongst Residents served home-made jalebis to the entire staff. Two Residents volunteered to make cloth masks for the entire staff. Two pieces of the masks have been given to each staff member.
In times of adversity, it is a delight to see all rally together, to ensure that all remain safe, healthy, secure and spirits are kept high.
Paving the way for Plastic Waste
Dr Savita Nagpal (B 86 South City 1)
“I'm a Barbie girl in a Barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic”
Well not quite, as we have learnt the hard way. Plastic, as of now, is choking our rivers, oceans, and even our stomachs.
Having come to grips with the situation, Slim Homes and SCRWA came together to battle it out.
We encouraged the Residents of South City 1 to segregate their plastic waste and hold it till it SCRWA had it collected from their streets as per a monthly schedule and a defined route. Thereafter, it was brought to a site near the SCRWA office. Following this, Slim Homes, in association with its partner, GFI (Garbage Free India) had it routed to KK Plastics in Begumpur Khatola. KK Plastics, in turn, would be using it for construction of roads in concert with MCG.
We have had an increasingly fruitful haul of the plastic waste since we began, in January 2020. So far have diverted about750 kg of plastic waste away from the Landfill. We have been joined by Residents of “The Retreat”, in our war against plastic waste.
Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation
by Kiran Chaturvedi (The Palms, 93508 48865)
Apart from the logistical matters, a lot of attention was given to keeping up the mood and morale in the community, with a special focus on engaging children in creative projects.
#PalmsArtGallery was an initiative where children made paintings and wrote poems and placed them at various points of high visibility. The bright and beautiful creations certainly cheered us up in our relative isolation.
Much enthusiasm was also generated by The Palms running group #Sole Jammers, who took up the indoor fitness relay challenge online through a video to encourage everyone to follow a fitness routine at home during the lockdown. Very topically, they used sanitiser as baton.
#PalmsUnplugged was a series of Facebook live performances of song, dance and poetry and more by residents at designated times, which had a most enthusiastic following.
With a hush on the roads and all around, birdlife has been more visible, being bolder in visiting trees within Palms. Bird photography shared on the community group has made many residents newly keen on birdwatching in their backyard.
The lockdown has forged new connections and community action, as residents collectively supported each other through two months of unimagined lifestyle shifts, and came closer in some ways despite social distancing restrictions.
Together We Shall Cope
Joint effort of Shampa Moitra, music selection by Vidhu Sagar of 1105, Ivory and Vinod Nair.
The Power of Proactive Planning In The Palms
by Kiran Chaturvedi (The Palms, 93508 48865)
Just before the Janata Curfew of 22nd March, proactive residents in Palms Apartments met and formed a volunteer Apex Covid Crisis Team and tower wise sub-teams to coordinate with the General Body about coping with the impending longer lockdown. Residents pooled in their collective experience as householders and professionals to prepare for the needs of the community.
Some of the logistical matters handled during lockdown:
30 housekeeping staff sheltered in place in the colony for over a month and provided with food and lodgings, paid for by the community. Residents themselves cooked and served the team of 30 men fresh home-cooked meals on some days, and in the unusually cold nights of late spring we had a drive to lend them warm blankets, when there was no way to procure any from the market.
Come summer, a resident arranged air-conditioner servicing and repair needs for those in particular need, with support from his workplace, with a fully Covid norms compliant team. The execution of the task within Palms was managed at each tower level by the tower coordinators.
Doctors sub-group was on call through the Apex committee for residents’ medical needs and to handle emergency hospital trips.
As the lockdown 4.0 plays out we are immensely grateful to our community for coming together during an unprecedented challenge.
The Germ That Travelled The World. Story For Kids Narrated by Neha George
An Appeal to Some Good Samaritans To Adopt An Abandoned Pet!
By Ritu Mathur (Carlton Estate)
People who abandon their pets are the most inhuman. There is absolutely no excuse for this.
Pets are domesticated creatures completely dependent upon their owners for survival. They have emotions; suffer pain, loss grief, sorrow and depression.
There is a saying that people’s character should be determined how they treat others and I think others should include animals who cannot speak in their defense or point finger in courts.
Any one abandoning pets are unworthy of being called humans.
A victim of such an act is this beautiful creature left by someone outside DLF phase 5 club building on 17th May.
This is an appeal to some good samaritans to come forward and adopt her.
Zero Wood Cremation
Unnoticed Nehru Place Crematorium Uses Uplas For An Environment Friendly Send Off to Our Loved Ones
by Rajiv Kakria (9810275168)
In the second week of Lockdown, I got the sad news of the passing of my friend's mother. Being a neighbour I decided to accompany them for cremation, not many are allowed permission due to Lockdown, so there were just the Seven of us.
It was an Eerie Sight, I have never seen the place so empty, as prior to us just one solitary cremation had taken place that day.
What struck me even more was that all the Cremation Bays had piles of COW DUNG UPLA (Cow Dung Cakes)..… Meanwhile Pandit ji started performing the Last Rites by chanting of Mantras, while his helpers dragged in a Rickshaw full of Uplas. I took a stroll towards the stockpile godown and to my surprise there was no trace of any wood.
My friend also asked about the wood and we were informed that for the past five odd months Nehru Place Crematorium has totally switched to Uplas with great Success and Acceptance.
After the body was confined to flames, we noticed that the flames did not rise too high nor was there too much smoke. Later Pundit ji informed us that the Calorific Value of Upla is almost twice that of Wood.... A body that completely turns to ash in 6-7 hours in wood, just takes 3-4 hours in Upla. As for cost, he said, we have just taken an average of what used to be the cost of wood. They regularly get truck loads of Cow Dung to make Uplas.
Seeing my interest Pandit ji pulled out his Mobile to show me a newspaper clipping of the SDMC Commissioner overseeing the novel Environment Friendly way of cremation, that too in total conformity with Hindu belief system, as per the scriptures i.e. of returning to 5 elements...... Jal, Vayu, Prithvi, Agni and Aakash of which human body is made to their source.
This reminds me of a discussion I had with my friend ASHUTOSH PATHAK, who had called me some 20 months back when our NGO’s (CHETNA) fight to save 16,500 trees in the Netaji Nagar Project was at the peak. Ashutosh said let us start a movement and take a padyatra from Delhi to Varanasi and take a proposal of Wood Free Cremation to the DOM RAJA of Manikarnika Ghat, the most Influential & Final Authority to the path to MOKSHA..... as keeper of the 'SACRED ETERNAL FLAME' that is used to light the pyres.
If the Dom Raja can be persuaded to shift to a more eco-friendly mode, Hindus across communities will willingly accept the alternative. Ashutosh had said if we get Dom Raja to tell people to shift to alternate materials or ways of cremation, then Hindus would gladly adopt the transition. One question that still needed answering was, were we equipped with an Alternative System.
Electric Crematorium has yet not become the preferred mode nor has the Govt made sufficient investments in Delhi and what about remote villages, where Power has yet to reach.
Somehow, the said movement that Ashutosh proposed has not seen the light of day.... But With Success Of A Sustainable Solution At Nehru Place, This Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
Not only will this go a long way in Saving Cows that have become old but also save the male calf's that are sent for slaughter. This would also go a long way in disposal of Cow Dung much to the relief of numerous Cow Shelters.
It will further create a market for Cow\Buffalo\Bull Dung Uplas and help supplement the farmers income.
Even If 25% Of The Wood Thus Saved, Shall Be A Forest Saved!