CHENNAI: Forty-five-year-old Shakila was on her phone the whole of Thursday night, trying to figure out the Corporation’s e-pass system. She had no time to waste as she just received the news that her mother had died in Tiruvannamalai, just four hours away from Chennai. But, getting there seemed impossible, thanks to the lockdown.
Shakila, who sells idiyappams for a living near her house in MMDA Colony, Arumbakkam, did everything possible, but the e-pass was not available. She then reached out to Karunya Devi, a social worker and lawyer, for help. “The funeral was at 2 pm, and the VAO in Mambattu of Tiruvannamalai sent us a written letter by phone (e-version), recommending us for e-pass,” says Shakila’s son Niyaz.
“As our attempts to secure the pass over phone failed, we went to the Ripon Building.” Niyaz says they were made to wait for nearly four hours there. “The officer in-charge was expected to be at work at 10 am. He came only at 11.45 am.“By the time our token was called, the VAO said the funeral would be over by the time we get there, and so the Corporation rejected our request. I wish the officials extended a little sympathy to those waiting for passes.”