During the curfew hours, only essential services are exempted to function normally. As per the DDMA order, domestic helps are not officially allowed to visit homes for work as they don’t fall under the classification of essential services. It is a scenario that may prove a challenge for many residents, especially the senior citizens and the infirm.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Government announced a weekend curfew, which will be in place from Friday 10 pm to Monday 5 am in view of a surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. The decision was taken after a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) that reviewed the situation in the national capital in the wake of Omicron's spread.
When CitySpidey talked to a few residents of Dwarka to understand how they feel about the decision, we got mixed reactions. Some residents understood the gravity of the situation and supported the step.
Ravi Jaitley, General Secratary of Senior Hub Dwarka, says, “We, the senior citizens, need to learn to get things done without any domestic help. We need to plan in advance when we know that there will be a lockdown. If any assistance is required, contact the local police beat officer. If you are registered with the police, they will help you. If you are not registered, I suggest to go and get yourself registered."
He further says, “We, the people from Seniors Hub got 25 senior citizens who were staying alone, registered with the Police in March 2021. We took the responsibility, and collected forms from them, and submitted them to the respective police stations of Dwarka. One should follow Government advisories to tide over this Covid-19 situation.”
Sushil Kumar, President of Dwarka Forum, says, “I will say that health should be the utmost priority for everyone. The most vulnerable section during this Covid pandemic is the senior citizens and thus they need to be extra careful. We must keep in mind that precautions are being taken for our own safety and must cooperate. Anyone fully dependent on a maid must make arrangements in their house respectively rather than exposing themselves to outsiders at least at this point in time.”
SS Maan, a resident of Dwarka sector-23, says, “Domestic help should be allowed only to the needy after assessment by the team of respective societies during the lockdown.”
However, there were other people who were of the view that there should be some alternate options.
Robin Sharma, Sr. Vice President of All Dwarka Residents Federations, says, “The maids must be allowed with proper Covid precautions. Women working as domestic help are from economically weaker section of society, so if they are banned from coming to work, will the government provide them with money?”
P. Menon, Treasure of Dwarka Forum, says, “The Govt and DDMA are exaggerating the matter. Instead of putting a ban on their entry, they should insist on vaccination. There is a number of households of Senior citizens fully dependent on domestic help. Weekend Curfew will put unbearable difficulties on such people. ”
Inder Mohan Khanna, President of Age well association(NGO regd.), says, “Covid-19/Omicron is spreading with great speed as per the reports available. To control this spread, the Government has come with certain restrictions to be observed by the citizens to safeguard themselves. This is a welcoming step."
He further says, “Essential commodities are available. However, Senior Citizens who are vulnerable to this virus but depend on house help need assistance. In one of the discussions with SDM, Dwarka over the phone, it is informed that Society Management can issue an authorization letter, giving timing when house help can enter societies for rendering their usual services to senior citizens."