Biggest slum in Pune keeps Coronavirus away with self discipline

janta vasahat
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, May 14, 2020: At a time when slums have become the most infected areas in and around Pune, here comes a unique story of a slum having zero corona positive cases. This is a story about the largest slum in the city—the settlement which has so far remained safe due to voluntary measures taken by local activists and citizens. The number of Coronavirus positive cases has reached 3000 in Pune city.

As per a report published by Senior Journalist Laxman More in Marathi newspaper Lokmat, Janta Vasahat slum, which is located at  the foothills of Parvati Hill near Dattawadi and is infamous for crimes, has remained untouched by the deadly virus. The slum is spread over 100 acres and has about 70,000 people residing there in 108 lanes. Since the lockdown, nobody goes out to work other than purchasing essential things; consequently, crimes have ended. Neighbours immediately report to the activists if anyone in the colony has come from the suburbs or if they have any symptoms like cold-cough-fever, that resident is promptly checked. There are many Corona positive patients outside the perimeter of Janta Vasahat.


The positive picture here is that the measures are taken by the activists and public, have made it possible to keep Corona away. Even though the slum is not in the containment zone, shops are only kept open till 2 pm. After that, Citizens do not go out of the house at all. There are a total of five roads to get to the colony; all of them have been entirely blocked. Also, vegetables are being provided to ensure people do not come out in large numbers.

On average, 150-200 residents are examined daily in the municipality hospital beside the slum. Doctors and health workers are working in two shifts – day and night to monitor all the patients, effectively. Ambulances are made available immediately if anyone has any need. Also, even if mild symptoms are seen, they are promptly examined. Yet, there are no cases of COVID 19 and could only be possible because of the residents, health worker and local activists working in synergy.