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Narmada Residents Welfare Apartments, South Delhi Sets Example by Improving Residential Environment during COVID-19 and Reconnects with Nature

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Residents Welfare Societies (RWAs) in Delhi have been exploring solutions since the Lockdown 1 to Lockdown 3, analysing various steps to curb the spread of Coronavirus in their respective societies. They have all been at their very best in alerting residents about steps that should  be addressed to help improve the environment inside the society. Maintaining a social distance, shutting society gates to refrain outsiders from entering the society, allowing only essential service providers to enter the premise, disinfecting the premises, installing washbasins and soap solutions at the entrance were all the immediate measures adopted. But  some of them Like Narmada  Welfare Association in South Delhi went  a little beyond to make things a little smoother  for their residents and it requires attention the way they managed to create a sustainable environment inside Narmada. 

Let us analyse the top Sustainable Steps taken by Narmada  

Waste Management Initiative in Narmada 

The National Capital is reeling under waste mounds in several parts of Delhi and NCR and is struggling with its disposal. The mounting wet waste is a serious concern among all not only during the ongoing lockdown but otherwise also. The availability of a Garbage picker is a serious issue at times during the lockdown. The Priority has always been there for a step wise planning  to tackle the waste management issue and making the Narmada a Waste-Free Zone says The President, Pushkar Raman of NRWA. Before the Lockdown they had constituted a small committee with specialized resource persons from the Society to study the different methods adopted and compare and develop their own prototype. Taking over charge of the common parks from the Municipality and converting them to food gardens was a longer plan to be achieved. But the plans came to practice in full form during the Lockdown Period and it was supposed to be of a great help to the residents. 

The First Step which they did before the Lockdown was to install leaf litter collectors in all the parks to collect the dry waste separately and compost them so that they could function as accelerators in the composting bin. 

The Second Step initiated during the lockdown was trying their best to create the awareness among us to segregate Bio Waste. All the Residents were urged to segregate the Vegetable peels for the cows on the street which did not have anything to eat as most of the markets and shops were shut down. I personally took charge of the segregation says the President, NRWA. Through this system which he has introduced, the society was at the best learning to segregate. This crisis situation gave them the best opportunity to innovate and design their own step wise plans. The lockdown has been an extremely difficult time for all of us but we know it has provided us immense opportunities to reconnect with nature says, Ritika a resident of Narmada. 

The Third Step was  in getting more citizens involved from the Society in contributing to segregate Bio Waste so that we could have our prototype of our dry composting plant function. As we already know the municipal corporations have been long behind every colony to actively segregate and compost the waste within the colony if not it is considered to be a punishable offense. More than being punished, we as citizens of the country should be responsible for the waste we are generating. There is no better time than today and this moment to change ourselves for the betterment of the society and for the betterment of our future generations. So be kind enough to segregate at the source. This was the message that was being circulated in the groups and All they had to do was to segregate their Biowaste and drop it in the containers placed near the NRWA office. Rest was taken care by the management. The time slot to drop the wet waste is until 11 am and thus the prototype of the composting plant started functioning. But the protype could take only a limited amount of waste and so they are all waiting for similar protypes to be made and installed so that the waste management could be tackled at the source completely.. 

In the midst of all these measures, majority of the residents went on to create a group called “NRWA Plantation” a group of likeminded individuals who shared thoughts and ideas of creating rooftop gardens for vegetables. All the group intends is to share information about seasons and vegetables and encourage every resident to come together to build a small vegetable patch of any size, in their balconies, terrace or whatever small spaces in the front or sidewalk. Hope this group helps gather community around local food, build community resilence, encourage a world of sharing and caring. Sustainability is the Future says Antra a resident of Narmada and she is looking out for recommendations from experts on what to grow and the best time for sowing. 

Apart from the above measures, the current  Narmada Management and its set of volunteers also has been in the forefront delivering to its best keeping in mind the welfare of the residents. A Special mention needs to be made to the set of 30 volunteers from Narmada who rose to the occasion and have risked their life and sacrificed their time to work in keeping all residents safe and comfortable, says the President, Pushkar Raman. 

Naman and Ritika, young members of the Executive Council worked day in and day out to ensure that the residents were safe, secure and comfortable. From plumbers, electricians to grocers and vegetable vendors all were made available during the lockdown. Antara, Siddhartha, Vaibhav, Debadrita, Ruby, Silky, Shimonti, Sonali, Prathna, Shaguna, Sashikant, Gaurav, Amit Puri, Amit Jain, Ankit, Arun, Vibhu and many others volunteered towards our cause. VK Sharma, VK Gangal, Anupam Saran took charge of a contingency fund to support the staff during this period. Several contributed to this fund.  

Kind-hearted people like Anil Sharma and Neeraj Garg who helped the Management procure sanitization liquid and sanitation equipment while some others like Poonam were instrumental in preparing meals for workers, while Antara, Debadrita, Silky, Shaguna and Ghazal were constantly aiding senior citizens of the society with cooked meals and other supports. Antara and Debadrita supervises various needs of the senior citizens like providing cooked meals providing domestic helps for basic household chores, delivering medicines and groceries, assisting with banking jobs and bill payments. Maids who were staying in the colony were shared  with residents who needed their services. Volunteers pick up packets form the gates and deliver it to the senior residents too as they don’t have to haul -up the heavy items themselves. Round the Clock doctors from the Society like Dr Anshumali Mishra, Dr A.K Bali and Dr Sonika Bali evaded medical emergencies whenever required. 

However, this too shall pass says the President of NRWA in a talk with us and he requests all residents to not hesitate to reach out to him or any of them at any time of the day or night and he assures help will be endeavoured.  

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