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Onam goes online for city folks

With the capital city expected to hit the Covid peak in the next few weeks, residents’ associations are urging people to celebrate virtual Onam from homes.

Published: 25th August 2020 07:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 07:18 AM   |  A+A-

Illus| Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the capital city expected to hit the Covid peak in the next few weeks, residents’ associations are urging people to celebrate virtual Onam from homes. They form public health brigades and task forces on district collector’s request

For the first time ever, city folks are gearing up to celebrate a low-key virtual Onam from the safety of their homes. With the capital city expected to hit the Covid-19 peak in the next few weeks, the festival season has made the situation more challenging and unsafe not only for people working on the frontlines of the fight against pandemic but also for residents in general.  With the threat of infection looming large, various residents’ associations in the state capital have formed public health brigades and task forces to assist residents in home isolation and home treatment. They have launched a campaign to address the stigma associated with the infection. 

In a recent meeting held with the office-bearers of residents’ associations in the lead-up to the festival, District Collector Navjot Singh Khosa urged the residents to hold celebrations online and form public a health brigade under each association.“We have given strict direction to the associations to celebrate Onam only using online platform. Cultural events and get-togethers are to be held virtually. Also, we will be launching home treatment within a couple of days and have urged the associations to form a task force to assist people in home isolation, especially the vulnerable sections. We have also asked them to procure pulse oxymeters to assist residents,” said a senior official of the district administration. 

Patron of the Federation of Residents’ Association, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT). Paraniyam Devakumar said that there will not be mass Onam celebrations and get-togethers. He added that public health brigades would also be in charge of crowding control. “Small wayside shops are mushrooming in residential areas and people prefer purchasing from these vendors as it’s safer than shopping malls and markets. But there is a high chance of crowding in such places. Our vigilant committees would be keeping track of these things. The primary aim is to foster a much-needed behavioural change in the residents,” said Devakumar. 

The FRAT is also planning to mobilise funds for conducting antigen testing camps in residential areas. “If cases are reported in a particular residential area, we will organise testing camps to facilitate Covid-19 testing for all residents. The task force comprising youngsters would deliver medicines, groceries for those in home quarantine and help everyone celebrate Onam safely at their homes. We have also urged everyone not to visit relatives or friends,” said Devakumar.

Associations are also mulling over procuring preventive homoeo and ayurveda medicines which would be distributed among residents. “We have already distributed one cycle of medicines. But we have to repeat the same after a month. We have decided to supply the medicines on a regular basis. Also, we have distributed Aparajitha Dhooma Choornam to the residents for disinfecting homes,” said Devakumar. 

With all in-person celebratory events like Onasadya and flower carpets cancelled this year, the Confederation of Residents’ Association (CONFRA), Kerala plans to conduct an online essay competition for children. “Every year, we organise events like Onasadya. However, this year there will not be any,” said M Sashidharan Nair, general secretary, CONFRA.

RESIDENTS TAKE CHARGE
●    With the threat of infection looming large, various residents’ associations in the state capital have formed public health brigades and task forces to assist residents in home isolation and home treatment. 
●    The Federation of Residents’ 
Association, T’Puram, is planning to mobilise funds for organising antigen testing camps in residential areas. It is also mulling over procuring preventive homoeo and ayurveda medicines which would be distributed among residents



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