Vasant Vihar Samvada Broadcast, July 2020
VVWA Along With Volunteers Sets Up Help Lines for Resident
by Parul Gaur (Jt Secretary, VVWA)
January and February saw the gathering storms bringing the Coronavirus Pandemic edging closer and closer. By March, it had come home, bringing in its wake, lockdowns and disruptions in our daily lives. Add to this, the ever present fear of infections. The VVWA, office bearers went into regular huddles chalking out a strategy to deal with the pandemic. From the start, VVWA decided that they would work alongside our residents to bring everyone on board and work united to fight the unseen enemy. A central part of this strategy was to have volunteers, man various help lines which would make life easier for our residents to deal with the daily life challenges.
Senior Citizens Helpline- With the onset of the lockdown and the uncertainty ahead, the VVWA, wanted to reach out to its Senior citizens specially, the ones who were living all by themselves. The lockdown enforced with time restrictions only for essential services and the fear of COVID spread resulted in restrictions on part time staff which included drivers, cleaning maids, nurses amongst other staff on which Senior citizens living alone were dependent.
The VVWA, along with volunteers from Vasant Vihar set up a Help Line to cater to all the needs and requirements of the Senior citizens. This included helping them with groceries, medicines and regular medical issues by connecting them to our database of doctors. Every volunteer had a couple of senior citizens under them and they made regular calls to them, abating their fear by speaking to them and at times giving feedback to their children. In some situations our volunteers even made home visits to spend time with those feeling lonely. The lockdown is now lifted though our help Lines to the Senior citizens continue.
Medical Helpline- An exhaustive data bank of doctors specialising in different streams was compiled for the residents of Vasant Vihar. It is commendable how the medical fraternity rose to the occasion and selflessly and tirelessly catered to each and every resident of Vasant Vihar. A 24x7 roster was prepared, so that at any given point of time during the lockdown medical help of any sort was available. Time slots and the doctors available were put forth and the residents could reach out to them for medical issues, or COVID related concerns. Phone consult and video consult both were made available 24x7.
What needs a special mention is that our dedicated team of doctors who volunteered was available through the night hours. The doctors for various specialisations were available on SMS, Whatsapp, Email and Video Call. We also created a Mental Help Line for those needing emotional support or having stress issues during this crisis-of prolonged lockdown. For those who felt panicky or anxious, a 15 minute, therapeutic tele-consult was available.
Legal / Neighbourhood dispute Helpline- A tele consult was made available to our residents for any guidance related to legal issues arising during such times where there was no movement allowed. Our team of enthusiastic lawyers was more than forthcoming to help. Also, since the lockdown spanned for almost two months neighbours at times had issues, which were settled by the able team. Our legal team continues to advise the VVWA on various issues till date and we remain grateful to them.
Women’s Helpline- This was created specially to help women with whatever issues they were facing during the lockdown. Some needed advice as prolonged lockdown was causing stress.
Sanitation helpline- The VVWA, worked very closely with the SDMC. We must mention their efforts and rigour in keeping our colony clean during the lockdown. With the skeletal staff they ensured regular collection of garbage, cleaning of roads and maintenance of back lanes. A number was made available to our residents having issues with disposing of their garbage. Also, Sanitisation for outdoor or plot in case of a positive or suspected case is provided by VVWA, equipment of which are sponsored by the generous Doctor community in Vasant Vihar. This service is free for Senior Citizens and available to rest at a nominal cost of RS-200/-. Our efforts of Sanitisation, supplement the SDMC teams.
COVID Infected Residents Helpline- We realised in spite of explaining our residents and the supply vendors that we must help and not stigmatise the infected there was a lot of fear and suppliers of various essential commodities refuse to deliver food and medicine to their homes. Our team of volunteers stepped in and provided much needed help. We also counseled and explained how ordered goods could be dropped at the gate. We set up a helpline with the SSIL team and they had their garbage collectors in PPE gear to do the needful every day. Important helpline numbers were made available to all our residents which included COVID helpline, CAT Ambulance, General Ambulance and Ambulance for Women only, Government of India helpline numbers and Senior Citizen COVID helpline.
The VVWA also tied up with suppliers of groceries, vegetables, fruit and chemist in and around Vasant Vihar who promised to provide doorstep delivery during such times. As the duration of lockdown extended and the spread of corona too, we created a team of utility providers such as Electrician, Plumbers and Carpenters who could do minor repair works in that period. Our president Mr Bindra helped organise E -passes for these providers who catered to the needs of residents in Vasant Vihar.
The volunteers have done an outstanding job. Their work has helped VVWA realise its vision of a more closely knit community, where each one of us is there for each other. This will also go a long way in helping us fight and defeat the pandemic, “The unseen evil”.
The Vasant Vihar Club tennis courts and the Society premises are regularly being sanitized by the club's housekeeping staff.
Busting the myth - Aneela Zeb Babar
by Natasha N Kochhar (99100 49999)
Aneela Zeb Babar is a VV resident, an author, researcher and consultant working on Islam, Gender, Migration and Popular culture. Over the past two decades she has been pursuing a career within the academic, research and development sector being employed with universities and non-governmental and international developmental agencies in South and South-East Asia and Australia. She moved to Vasant Vihar in 2012 and credits the collegial networks and support structures available in VV that make it possible for her to write her books and opinion editorials. You can read her work in The Hindu, The Print, The Ladies Finger and Grist Media /Yahoo! Originals and Her Book `We are All Revolutionaries : Militarism, Political Islam and Gender in Pakistan', published by Sage Publications/Yoda Press.
The book answers the following among other topics:
What might link a group of middle-class Pakistani women sipping coffee demurely in a living room, with the fiery young women in black burqas threatening shopkeepers in Islamabad.
Does Bhutto’s death mark the death knell of secular female political participation in Pakistan? The individuals in these pages span over two decades (1988-2008) of Pakistan’s tryst with a difficult history, trying to decipher the convoluted equation of militarism, political Islam and gender politics.
We have an accomplished author resident in Vasant Vihar, who not only inspires creativity, but also natural and easy living with character of all the countries she's lived in. Her husband works with Red Cross in Kabul, and is currently stationed there in between the Covid crisis, in addition to the existing situation in the country.
To Change or Not To Change
by Ranya Zara Bimbrahw (15 yr, 12th grader at The British School)
Change is something I once feared. I would look its way and feel shivers run down my spine. I always felt that if things were alright to begin with, it’d be best to avoid taking any risks. Little did I know, it’s not always possible to keep running away from changes.
In 2016, when I was 12 years old, my family and I moved from Canada to India. Despite being ethnically Indian and visiting several times prior to moving, I never took an interest in learning about life and culture in India beyond the general touristy stuff or meeting friends/family. For that reason, I experienced culture shock post my move. I assumed Indian culture to be a trivial matter, and I had hoped to leave as soon as I got the chance. Almost every day, I’d think about how much I miss my home, my old life, my old friends, my old everything. It became an unhealthy obsession of mine.
Slowly, as I started making more friends and fitting in better at school, I realized that dwelling upon the past does nothing. It only tortured me mentally. It dawned on me that the only way for me to find inner peace was to move on and live life as it turned out. I had to be more spontaneous and embrace change.
After this personal revelation, I began my journey of learning to appreciate what’s around me and finding happiness in the little things that life has to offer. I decided it was time to educate myself about Indian culture, and I began by letting my taste buds do the learning. My family and I would go out for street-food after school on Fridays, once every few weeks, and I slowly began to look forward to it. My tiring weeks would end with deep-fried jalebis, maybe even juicy momos, and sometimes both at the same time. After similar such moments, I truly realized how much of my attention I hadn’t been giving towards such an important aspect of my Indian identity.
Not only that, but I soon moved to Vasant Vihar, and I personally think that this wonderful neighbourhood is able to integrate the best parts of Western and Indian style together. This helped make my cultural transition run even smoother. I have access to similar foods and facilities that I did in Canada, thanks to places like Bread & More, Sugar & Spice, and my favourite, McDonalds. Also, I’ve been able to experience the exciting rush of going shopping at an Indian market with all its sounds and smells, which was one thing I hadn’t been able to do before in Canada. The streets and parks are full of greenery, and they’re always bustling with activity, hence becoming a perfect blend of two cultures. For these reasons, I personally believe that Vasant Vihar really helped me in transitioning to India.
I think that one should reflect upon the changes that have occurred in their life, and try to learn from mistakes like mine; I believe that what’s happened has happened and there’s nothing one can do but accept and adapt to the change. I realize this is easier said than done, but with just a bit of time and practice, one will surely be able to improve.
Mosquito Fogging Operation by D-Block RWA in association VVWA
by Rajender Maggu and Keshav Garg
Your D-Block RWA and VVWA have decided to get fogging done privately by a recognized agency, which has been identified by Mr. Sumant Mathur after verification. This agency is doing similar work for IIT and RBI colonies in Delhi.
While we in the Welfare Associations take the initiative to control mosquito population, it is more than ever, the responsibility of every resident to make sure that mosquitos do not breed in their water tanks, or stagnant water in their backyard.
All are requested to take necessary precautions because the fine could be Rs.5000 or more to be paid in Saket/ Dwarka court with personal appearance of the person challaned. The time to act is now…...just a few simple precautions can lower your risk of attracting mosquitos that transmit dangerous illnesses and viruses.
Mosquito fogging operations were conducted in the front and back lanes including Margs that touch D-Block. Two machines were in operation.
• Residents who had keys to the gates of back lanes, were requested to open the gates, for fogging to be done there.
• Fogging operation started at 6 PM and finished by 8 PM.
• Optional: residents were requested that they may keep the doors and windows of their house open when fogging is being carried out in their area, so as to kill mosquitoes inside the house. Those with any kind of allergy were advised to keep their doors & windows closed.
• Residents are being advised that they need to continue to prevent mosquitoes breeding in their premises and to protect themselves & their families from diseases & viruses transmitted through mosquito bites.
AIKGA Convenor Syama Balbir Conducted a Zoom Meet
On a zoom get together Syama Balbir also a primary resident of Vasant Vihar since 1972, met members of the club and gave a few basic tips on gardening in urban spaces like terraces and balconies and small gardens.
To begin with she emphasised that soil and that too organic soil is the base for growing anything, be it vegetables flowers or indoor outdoor plants!
What is organic soil? Any soil that has high carbon content is a good soil! Activity of friendly microbes in the soil allows plants to absorb nutrients in an easy form thereby making them strong- of higher immune system!
How do we get this in our soil? We get it by introducing organic matter like leaf, home compost, well rotted cow dung, neem khali and bone meal!
Here she reiterated the need to do home composting! She said each individual must recycle their home waste into compost thereby reducing the load on the Municipality and also creating a soil addendum full of friendly microbes!
She also gave the recipe for a home enzyme made from vegetable peels/fruit peels/flower petals! This enzyme is not only nutritive but also anti pesticides! It balances the nutritional requirements of the plant from the soil!
150 GMs vegetable peels/fruit / flower petals ( one of the 3)
50gms desi/organic Jaggery
1 Lemon ( juice extracted and peel
1 tablespoon of earth from the Peepul tree
Put all ingredients in a 2 ltr plastic bottle with a narrow mouth
Fill it 3/4 th with water and tighten the cap
On 3rd day release the cap slowly to allow the gas to escape (release cap slowly or it will pour out )
Repeat every 3rd day till no gas remains. Keep it closed for 2 months!
Thereafter strain and keep the liquid! Throw the sediment into the compost bin!
How to use the enzyme:
5 ML in 1 ltr water !
Spray on leaves or pour 200cc in a 12” pot
Repeat every 15 days
Will strengthen the immunity of all plants! Totally organic!!
Delight in Door Delivered Deliciousness from VV Club
by Rajinder Maggu (Secretary VV Club)
After the relaxation of lockdown, Vasant Vihar Club started takeaway and home delivery of fresh, wholesome, and flavourful meals created by the chef, on order, from an elaborate menu put together for members, by the Club's caterer KIC and the food committee of the club.
To ensure the health and safety of our customers as well as the staff, we have put together a stringent operational protocol. This includes sanitizing all preparations and delivery areas at regular intervals. Throughout the day frequent sanitizing of doors, door handles, railings are also being done by the Club's housekeeping staff.
We have adopted a zero contact delivery of food items to our customers, through trained delivery staff. There is also an option for contactless payment. The rider follows a strict protocol of wearing a mask and gloves at all times during the delivery process.
You can place an order for freshly prepared meals of your choice selected from the menu, and the meals will be delivered at your doorsteps, so that you may enjoy it with your family in the safety of your home.
Like Us On Facebook!
Residents Assured of No More Power Outages
The month of May saw a number of power outages in D block for 2-3 hours every evening from 6pm to 8pm! Residents were exasperated by the workings of BSES. Complaint to the BSES was made who checked up and found a cable fault which was fixed by putting in a new cable. Unfortunately, another cable developed a fault, causing more outages. This has also been fixed. Residents have been assured of no more trouble.
Landlord Tries To Grab His Shop Back
A shop in a local market of Vasant Vihar was the source of much tension recently. The landlord tried to grab his shop back by putting his lock which was removed through the intervention of the SHO. It was an ordeal for the tenant who had taken the shop on pagri plus rent.
Get Vasant Vihar Broadcast By Mail!
Sonalika Tractors Helps Disinfect All Colony Roads
Beginning the last week of June, over a period of ten days, VVWA in association with the CSR Division of Sonalika Tractors has carried out disinfection of all colony roads. The disinfection was carried out by a large unit mounted on a tractor. We are grateful to Sonalika Tractors for their cooperation.
Distribution of Food & Dry Rations to the Needy
Spearheaded by Keshav Garg and Rajinder Maggu on behalf of VVWA, food for needy is being distributed regularly. Dry rations to SSIL staff were done by VVWA President GS Bindra, Keshav Garg and Rajinder Maggu.
Some Tough Questions to Answer!
by Dr Rajnish Sardana
Want to bring to everyone’s notice the sorry state of mind which some of us members possess despite being educated and most representative of the intellectual elite of the country. Both me and my wife are doctors and working in the private and government sectors respectively.
One of us members is forcing my driver to quit working for us as we are doctors and the driver happens to stay in their servants quarter(as his wife works full time help for them). I tried to reason with him and he answered to me that ‘you get the driver and we get the risk’.
The question is that
1) Should no one work for doctors and other health care workers?
2) We too have elderly parents and also children. Should we stop treating patients since we are ‘bringing risk home’.
3) Should such members be treated by doctors when they fall sick.
4) Can we as a society be so selfish that when needed we want to be provided healthcare but otherwise desert and treat health care workers as untouchables.
I am pained at this attitude of some. Hopefully they reproduce the minority of us. Would like to have everyone’s opinion on this. Take care and wish you good health.
VV Community Comes Together in Crisis
by Arshya Gaur
In these unprecedented times, I’ve been able to see my colony in a new light. It is as if the lockdown period has provided me with a magnifying glass to see all those things that I let pass by while I – and perhaps all of us - was absorbed in my fast pace in life. Staying at home has led to a new-found appreciation for my neighborhood- all the residents who stay here, the proactive initiatives taken by the diligent RWA members and even made me notice its imperfections.
This time provided by the lockdown has made me see how this pandemic has led to homelessness, and this sight makes me grateful to live in a colony where residents are willing to go out of their way to ensure that their neighbors are keeping well. The group of people who have volunteered to help the elderly residents with their needs are an inspiration to the young and old alike. It gives sanctity to the fact that human compassion is the best cure for any type of distress or hopelessness. The proactive measures taken by our welfare association which include a plethora of guidelines ranging from dos and don'ts to numbers of mental health doctors are yet again, another testament to the success of our colony in being able to handle this grave situation with utmost grace.
In these times where people are relying on their immediate family members for comfort and sanity, it is heartening to see the residents giving back to society by raising resources to provide 3000 meals daily to the needy at the Vasant Vihar Gurudwara. This highlights an important lesson that has been taught by the Coronavirus: it is a battle that can only be fought when we’re all together, as after all in unity there is strength and that can only be achieved when we acknowledge each other’s struggles and provide as much support as we can to overcome them.
On the rare occasions when I’m allowed to go for an evening walk outside, I see my neighborhood in its full splendor: the vibrant foliage, the blooming flowers and how nature thrives in this serenity, free from human intervention. Listening to the chirping of the birds replace the commotion caused by the honking of cars, makes the stories narrated by our grandparents about the good-ol’ days believable. However, it is also important to realise that this scenario will not be forever and thus, the biggest learning in all of this is to enjoy the good things while they last, hope for a better future and cherish these moments forever.