During Independence Day celebrations, Annai Indira Nagar Residents Welfare Association honoured residents of the neighbourhood who are serving the society at large now as frontline workers, as also other government servants who operate in the neighbourhood.

S.G. Anish Chakravarthy serves at the ICU ward for COVID -19 patients at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Park Town.

The Annai Indira Nagar resident is in the second year of his post-graduation studies in anaesthesiology at Madras Medical College.

“When we are on COVID-19 duty, we can’t go home, but will stay at a hotel authorised by the government. After one week on COVID-19 duty, we will be on quarantine at the hotel, after which we will be tested for COVID-19. If the results are negative, we will be assigned COVID-19 duty. Again, after a week’s quarantine and a test, we will be assigned non-COVID-19 duty, when we will be allowed to go home. Even within our house, I wear masks and isolate myself in a room. Besides, I have consciously reduced my interactions with my parents because both of them are diabetic,” says Anish.

K. Gopinath, another resident of Annai Indira Nagar, is Staff Nurse at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

“I was overwhelmed by this gesture from the Association. This recognition encourages me to serve people even better,” says the 35-year-old.

Gopinath is from an eight-member joint family. Because of his job, he has sent all his family members to his home town — Vizhupuram.

“We took this measure because we have elderly parents and small children and physical distancing will is not possible,” says Gopinath.

The Association also recognised those government personnel who are not residents of Annai Indira Nagar, but are on COVID-19 duty in the neighbourhood.

They include N. Panchavaranam, Station Officer, TNFRS (Tamil Nadu Fire & Rescue Services) Velachery, and his team and A. Subramanian, a Sanitary Inspector of the Greater Chennai Corporation who is in charge of Ward 178 and 179.

“Mr. Panchavaranam and a few of his team members were down with COVID-19 and they reported for duty immediately after recovery. They continued to disinfect our streets. Moreover, the Station Officer has not gone home since March considering his family’s safety. Likewise, the Sanitary Inspector has always been on his toes tracking the number of positive cases in our area,” says S. Kumararaja, an office-bearer of the Association.

The Association also honoured six conservancy workers, including four women by distributing clothes to them.

Says Kumararaja, “Women were given saris and men, shirts and pants. They handle the masks discarded by us and cleared garbage from houses which had COVID-19 patients. ” says Kumararaja.

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