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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Chandigarh: Many VIPs in home quarantine, object to posters outside houses, say people stigmatise them

Haryana Chief Minister’ Principal Secretary Rajesh Khullar has also been home quarantined at his residence in Sector 16. A poster has been pasted there as well.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Updated: March 23, 2020 4:45:10 pm
A mall shut on Sunday in view of Janata Curfew.

FROM A judge’s family to the senior IAS officer in the Haryana Chief Minister’s Office, from a known lawyer to an IAS officer — who’s who of Chandigarh have been home quarantined by the administration and posters have been put outside their houses declaring that the family is quarantined.

But the quarantined VIPs complain the posters have led to shaming by the public as they are clicking pictures and circulating them on WhatsApp.

The family of Puneet Bali, known lawyer of the city who is also among the highest income taxpayers from Chandigarh, has been home quarantined after his daughter returned from London. Paveela Bali, an activist and wife of Puneet Bali, said, “Can you imagine the way people are behaving with us — the milkman refused to deliver milk at our residence saying that our house is affected? I told him that we have self-quarantined as a precautionary measure but people are taking pictures outside our house and circulating them on WhatsApp. A woman who is staying across said she is going to shunt out the maid if she works at our house.”

The VIPs say that their neighbours are taking the posters otherwise — like a taboo.

“Rather than standing in these times together, everyone is making fun of us. We people can still manage as we have ration stocked with us because everyone has stopped delivering things at our residence but what about those who don’t have any resources? The driver at Dhanas was also quarantined and you know how people behave,” an IAS officer said who has been quarantined with his family.

A campaign by Bali has also been started which says please stop #corona shaming. If all those who have come from abroad and are quarantined, it does not mean they are infected. It means they are #responsible citizens #stop the panic show compassion not indifference.

Haryana Chief Minister’ Principal Secretary Rajesh Khullar has also been home quarantined at his residence in Sector 16. A poster has been pasted there as well.

Not only a judge’s family in Sector 4 has also been quarantined by the administration, known architect Lakhbir Singh in Sector 21 too has been quarantined with his family. Singh’s family was quarantined after his son came in contact with the brother of the first woman who contracted COVID-19. Posters have been put up outside their residence.

Chandigarh’s Home Secretary, who is also Health Secretary, Arun Gupta is home quarantined with his family after his daughter returned from the US. A senior doctor who returned from the UK has also been quarantined with her family in Sector 19.

The Chief General Manager of Chandigarh Smart City Limited, N P Sharma, whose son tested positive has also been quarantined with his family at their residence in Sector 19. His gardener and servant — all have been quarantined.

Officers who came in contact with Sharma are worried as he remained in touch with them throughout and the officers attended meeting with the Governor as well. The only thing they are doing as of now is waiting for the officer’s sample report.

However, the administration said that these posters are for creating awareness among people so that there is no interaction. “The basic purpose is to make people around know that they need to maintain distance from the family for 14 days so that the virus, if any, doesn’t spread to community,” a senior officer added.

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