Chennai organisation throws light on civic issues in Kodambakkam

Chennai: Being residents of a large city, we often witness civic issues every other day in our lives. Perhaps, we might have seen a pothole in our road, but after a point of time, its existence becomes so infused in our minds, that we automatically slow down when we cross it. But when we finally decide to fix that mess, we wonder which Municipal worker to call.

Such questions often hit Suresh, a resident of Choolaimedu. ‘There was a drainage problem in the street where I lived,’ he recalls. ‘With 30 other neighbours, I wrote a letter to the local authorities. The issue was solved quickly.’

This simple act of being a responsible citizen, gave birth to his organisation, Chennai Vaal Makkal Pothu Nala Amaippu. ‘One official suggested us to represent our locality,’ says Suresh.

For the past ten odd months, members of this organisation, to say in a nutshell, have been working together and bringing to notice various civic issues such as poor roads and street lighting, defective drainage, pollution, environmental and health hazards- to Corporation officials. ‘

Many residents don’t know how to address a problem’, he observes, adding, ‘We offer tips regarding such concerns’. He then gives a brief about the role of members.

‘We meet every Sunday to discuss latest civic issues and developments happening in our locality,’ he says. ‘Through WhatsApp groups, the members take photos of the ‘problem’- for instance, a battered stretch, and post it here. Since Municipal workers and police officials are also members of this group, they immediately take the necessary action,’ he states.

According to Suresh, every official is eager to help. ‘But when senior authorities who were in charge of other areas, are assigned to a new neighbourhood, they are not aware of how to take action,’ he says, adding, ‘They also need time, to build trust among residents’.

Today, the organisation has over 300 members, working along with authorities at areas like Kodambakkam, Anna Nagar, and many more. ‘

We never take money from anyone. All we need is our members’ ID cards,’ he explains, and says, ‘The sole reason why we do this, is to give a voice to the public, and take matters into our own hands in a responsible way’.

For more details, contact Suresh at 98411 15548.

Mohammed Rayaan