Residents of the 93 flats in the Parijat Co-operative Housing Society in Bandra (West) have made some changes to their lifestyle, as the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked-in on Wednesday. While social distancing is the new normal, they have tried to make some room to retain, at least partially, the old normal.
For children must play and the elderly must stay active, inside the society premises, in a manner that was not designed by its members, the children are taking turns to play.
Vidya Vaidya, a resident of the housing society near the Lilavati Hospital said that there are some things that they still need to find a way out of like the supply of fresh groceries, a tiffin service for the security staff but over the next few days, they are sure to work it out.
“It wasn’t like that by design but at any time, there are not more than two or three children playing. We have a lot of space and the children and their parents are also being careful,” said Vaidya.
The decision to send domestic helps on paid leave was taken by society members unanimously. The security guards, attached to a private agency, are staying on the premises until the lockdown.
“Everyday, one member sends them meals. I was trying to locate a tiffin delivery service for the security guards. I found one in Powai but they cannot deliver to Bandra. I am still looking for one anywhere in Khar-Bandra,” said Vaidya.
She added that all the members in the three buildings in the society were connected on WhatsApp. “We are all connected and we talk to each other. Nobody is alone as such,” she said.
Mukulesh Gatne, a veterinary doctor and a managing committee member of the housing society, said the society had issued some mandatory directions and some recommendations to all its members. Those that need to be followed mandatorily include a ban on the entry of food deliveries, the man who irons clothes and no sitting on benches. “There are some drivers of doctors who reside in the society. They may be allowed to sit on the benches but they cannot spit at all. We will impose a fine if anyone is found spitting,” said Gatne.
His 88-year-old mother Vanmala Gatne, who underwent a hip replacement surgery in 2014, would regularly take a walk in the mornings but she has had to make some alterations to her routine. “She now walks slowly in the staircase from the seventh floor to the fifth floor or we take her to the terrace for a walk. We live on the top floor and usually, it is just us on the terrace,” he said.
Gatne said that the society, doing its part to stay vigilant, also sought to follow up with any members who may have returned from abroad after March 1. The circular issued on March 22 asked such members to report to the managing committee “without fail”.
Priti Janjire’s outdoorsy nine-year-olds Shon and Som train to play tennis at a competitive level thrice a week, they are also a part of their school football team. In the face of the lockdown, however, they are spending unusually long hours at home.
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