How RWAs can help Chennai Corporation during Lockdown 4.0


Many high rises tower over OMR. Pic: Joel Samuel Raj/Wikimedia Commons

As we approach the relaxation of lockdown, traffic and people on the roads is bound to increase, even as we continue to battle the pandemic. Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) can be very effective in helping the Greater Chennai Corporation, as the civic body continues its measures to create awareness and enforce social distancing in the near future. Here are some salient points for RWAs from a note issued by a senior GCC official.


  1. Awareness material will be handed over to RWAs by GCC.
    • Do paste where it will be visible to the public
    • Do share the digital messages widely.
    • Do NOT spread misinformation.
    • GCC will look at opening a fact-check channel to ensure no fake news is spread.
  2. Do maintain a list of elderly people in your locality.
    • Profile them and have a record so that they can be helped regularly since they are more vulnerable. Eg, a group of volunteers can bring them their purchases, medicines, etc so that their need to go out in minimised.

Safety Measures

  1. Mask is compulsory for everybody.
    • What type of mask?
      • N95 masks are for medical professionals
      • Blue and green triple-layered are for for corporation officials and essential services providers.
    • Double-layered cloth masks are good for general public. Let us make it a habit.
    • RWAs should make it mandatory to wear masks when residents step out of their homes.
    • GCC will explore setting up a penal system for people who are found violating this rule.
  2. Proper disposal of single use masks – Cloth masks can be washed and reused. The general public should use cloth masks to reduce wastage. single use masks must be disposed of with medical waste.
  3. Social distancing norms
    • RWAs should pitch in to help ensure social distancing norms are being followed
    • Where markets and shops are found not following norms – RWAs should stand up and say it is not allowed. They must spread the message to the general public as well.
  4. Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect ourselves. GCC is looking into setting up more handwashing stations in public areas.
  5. GCC will continue to provide Kabasura kudineer, vitamin C and free masks across all slums.
  6. The ban on Public gatherings will continue.
    • Gyms, sports centres, etc., will continue to remain closed. RWAs should help ensure this is maintained
    • Beauty parlours and salons will also remain closed.
  7. Before restarting Thiruvanmiyur and other marketsmarket, steps will be taken to ensure safety measures are taken.
  8. Apartment-level safety measures:
    • Wash hands and legs before entering your apartment. Hand sanitisers should be placed in common areas of the building.
    • Ensure that residents have opted for no contact delivery from food delivery apps.
    • RWAs to please take good care of their security guards to ensure they have protective masks, regular food, etc.
    • Disinfecting internal environment is more essential than external environment – like door handles, lift buttons, railings on common staircase, seats in common areas and so on.
  9. GCC will try and share a video about a foot operated hand sanitising machine to kept near lifts. RWAs to ensure it is being implemented. RWAs can also search for these online to find out details.
  10. De-stigmatising the disease
    • It is like a common cold. Stigma is because of how contagious it is
    • If one person is infected, then they can be in home quarantine. They do not need RWA permission to be home quarantined
    • Please do not ostracise them
    • Make sure that infected and their immediate family do follow home quarantine very strictly. But offer to help them with food and essentials which can be given to them without contact.
    • Do not panic if there is a person in the neighbourhood who has been infected.
  11. GCC will share a helpline number where violations can be reported.
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