News By/Courtesy: Athul Joseph | 01 Jul 2020 22:29pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • COVID-19 positive cases in Dharavi have come down drastically so have the number of deaths.
  • Dharavi focused on chasing the virus, instead of waiting for disaster
  • Strict containment measures were deployed in virus hotspots that were home to 125,000 people, including the use of drones

Corona spread has been monitored in Dharavi, recognized as the largest slum cluster in Asia, and one of the major hotspots of the pandemic. The health infrastructure has been working overtime for the last 100 days to restrict the spread of the virus in this area, which has a population of 10 lakhs and reduces the number of active cases to zero. But, as the people of Dharavi battle against Corona, they face a new struggle to ensure that they get a job and that they can make ends meet. The people of Dharavi are also Mumbaikars and must not be discriminated against and kept away from employment opportunities just because they remain in the city, said the school minister and local MLA Varsha Gaikwad is an ardent appeal during an interview with 'Navshakti.'[I] Varsha Gaikwad 's father, Eknath Gaikwad, is chairman of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) and is a four-year MLA from Dharavi. The electoral district also played a significant role in the success of its parent in the state legislature, followed by the election of Lok Sabha.

For the past three months, Varsha Gaikwad has worked tirelessly with government machinery, voluntary groups, and party workers to ensure that Dharavi is free from Corona. She has a strong connection with Dharavi, which has seven extensive town halls. Over the last three months, more than 2,500 positive cases have been detected in Dharavi and the death rate was initially high. She points out that, apart from ensuring the use of masks, sanitizers, timely medical check-ups, and social distances, the fight against Corona has reached a decisive stage due to trust between people. Jobs and education are the main problems facing the people of Dharavi, Varsha Gaikwad said. Dharavi has received publicity at the national level as the Corona hotspot. This caused local people to be treated differently by others. We are also shunned by the people of Dharavi. Dharavi has a small, domestic industry that manufactures panatis (diyas) and leather goods. It has around 1,000 leather production units, but it have been closed for the last 100 days. The leather industry declined by around 50 percent due to the demonetization and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system. Such problems have been exacerbated by the rise of the Corona pandemic. Thousands are working as domestic workers and small businesses, but new jobs are being denied only because they live in Dharavi. In Dharavi, normalcy is being restored. Others, too, must resolve the misconception that people in the region are patients with Corona.

Talking to Navshakti, Gaikwad drew attention to how Dharavi was faced with a migrant labor issue. The completion of the second phase of the lockout led to the lack of composure of staff living in tents of 100 square feet. They had already suffered from a lack of work and concerns that Corona would be contaminated and sent to quarantine. They told Gaikwad that they wanted to go home. To this end, central and state governments needed to help organize trains to travel to other states[ii]. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi approached her. Realizing the seriousness of the matter, he followed up with the Center for Extra Trains for Migrants in Mumbai. The Center did, however, make some noise when authorizing extra trains and set some stringent requirements, such as drawing up a list of employees and requiring them to request medical certificates. The police have been granted responsibility for filling out the forms. There were massive lines outside the Shahu Nagar and Dharavi police stations, adding to the burden of the already overstretched police force.

Then Gaikwad took the help of voluntary groups working for people from different states who stay in Dharavi and prepared lists of workers. They were scanned and the PDF files were sent to the police, making their work easier. Approximately 1.25 lakh workers from Dharavi left for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal. But the Center was short on its pledge to refund 85 percent of the ticket costs. Rajasthan and Gujarat workers were sent back by special buses[iii]. Minister of Health Rajesh Tope and Gaikwad paid special attention to Dharavi. Gaikwad 's husband, Rajubhau Godse, also helped with this. A team of staff including Mumbai Congress Secretary Mahendra Salve, Sachin Gaikwad, Sachin Jadhav, and others is still working for Dharavi.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 02 Jul 2020 2:31am IST


Tags : Dharavi Covid

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