The floods of 2015 stood as a catalyst for a huge social movement in Chennai city. Deeply moved by it, many volunteers post the disastrous deluge have been doing their bit for society in different capacities.
Our very own neighbourhood has many such ‘heroes’. News Today came across V Viswanathan, an interesting personality from Chittu Oragadam who shared how his life transformed following the disaster.
“I was associated with the IT industry for more than two-and-a-half years and my life was just like that of any other person. However, things changed when the city witnessed the calamity. My workplace collected resources to help the victims, but mobilising them was a huge task due to lack of accessibility,” says the 25-year-old lad.
An undeterred Viswanathan wanted to know the on-ground reality that led him to traverse deep into the affected localities with a bunch of youngsters.
“There were families stranded with just-born infants on streets without a penny. Amid them were people from other districts engaging in brawls for resources. There were a lot of requests on social media, only the direct visit showed who required help. I understood that there were lags in the social system,” adds Viswanathan.
That experience made him question about his very purpose of slogging for a corporate multinational company and eventually led him to pursue a career in developing the social sector.
“I quit the well-paying job and pursued a degree on ‘development leadership’ and now I have been associated with a not-for-profit firm as its State project officer to empower rural women by giving livelihood opportunities and in also improving digital literacy in Tamilnadu,” explains he.
However, Viswanathan’s work is not just limited to that. Ambattur and the nearby localities have quite a lot of infrastructural deficiencies and this man is on a spree to fix the civic issues one by one.
He confessed that, earlier, like every other citizen, he used to crib about the battered roads, dim street lights and various issues we come across in our day-to-day lives, and feel helpless to get it alright.
However, six months ago, he began utilising the services of ‘Namma Chennai’ mobile application and has witnessed positive response with the issues of concern he has raised so far. He regularly files complaints about the issues in Menambedu, Chittu Oragadam and Vijayalakshmi Nagar.
On his experience, he says, “I filed a complaint about the garbage littered in my street and the very next day I got a call from the Conservancy Inspector and the problem was resolved in a day’s time.”
He points out to a few bugs in the app and states that because it is not GPS-enabled, there are minor problems in authorities locating the right street where work needs to be done.
“There is a large disconnect between government officials and the public. People are clueless about resolving civic problems and are made to run from pillar to post. But if people begin to utilise their smartphones to make their neighbourhood a better place, the impact would be huge,” signs off the altruistic Viswanathan and emphasised on people’s participation to resolve the civic issues.
He can be reached at 8144083008.