Geeta Padmanabhan not being moved by problems peculiar to Marudeeswarar Nagar is as likely as a papyrus-sheet coming out of a conflagration unsinged.
These issues go on a parade right in front of her eyes, and if they didn’t, the persistent civic activist that she is, Geeta would have ferreted them out anyway.
“I am a resident of Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, and from where I live, Marundeeswarar Nagar is not far away. Twenty-five feet, and a left turn, and another 25 feet, and there I am,” is how Geeta puts it.
Geeta focusses on the fact that “Marundeeswarar Nagar has narrow lanes”, and the houses are packed close together, resembling dove-cotes, and “it should have 3,000 residents by a conservative estimate”.
It comes with a built-in challenge to social distancing, explains Geeta, adding that in such densely-populated localities, mesages about mask-wearing have to be hammered home really hard, and consistently.
“One of the volunteers is a tailor called Krishnaveni. With her help, I have distributed masks to the residents. The job doesn’t end with distributing masks. It is equally important to monitor if residents are wearing those masks. I have been visiting the area regularly to promote the wearing of masks, not spitting and not crowding around,” says Geeta, who is regularly spotted at the locality, megaphone in hand.
Geeta says that she is assisted from time to time by a few volunters from her residents’ association, RMSM, which stands for Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, Marundeeswarar Nagar, Sivakamipuram, Malaviya Avenue People’s Security and Welfare Association.
“It’s also important to help improve their immunity. On June 14, along with homeopathy doctor Veerapathiran, we went from door to door and distributed Arsenicum album vials to the households in Marundeeswarar Nagar. We received more than 800 vials of Arsenicum album, getting in touch with former MP J. Jayavardan and making the need known to him. The whole lot of homeopathy medicine was sponsored by Minister D. Jayakumar. Roughly, one vial was distributed to every household.”
Geeta says that the Greater Chennai Corporation has been doing its work in the locality, impressively, elaborating that the civic body has organised two fever camps there and has been distributing Kabasura Kudineer.
“With the help of RDC-South Alby John, I managed to distribute 160 grocery kits to those without ration cards and migrant labourers who chose to stay.”