I am sharing something very urgent and hope this will spur the administration to take action that is essential and yet difficult: Our Hospital is seeing many cases of Corona [COVID-19] as we are located close to several hotspots in Dahisar East in North Mumbai.
The majority of these cases are from chawls and slums where there are common toilet facilities. People are leaving these hotspots en masse as of today.
My suggestion [echoed by many field workers on the ground] is to make use of this time to convert all those residential areas having common toilets [mainly slums and chawls] into housing units with attached toilet facilities in a legally demarcated land use as per the Development Plan.
Don’t these people deserve a life of dignity and clean, healthy living conditions? And considering the changed socio-economic scenario post-COVID-19, I feel hygiene and safety will remain our top priority. Mumbai is the commercial capital of Mumbai. Our residents surely deserve this!
How can this be done practically, you may well ask. Modular units can be built and shipped. Some friends suggested that we use Cargo Containers. Homes with toilet and water facilities can be built in a few days or weeks.
Beautiful houses can be constructed, complete with attached toilets. Not just two or three floors high!
I am sure innovative civil engineers and entrepreneurs will chip in and suggest even better alternatives than these.
It will take coordination from the local leaders, politicians, police, army, and civil engineering teams. It will be costly and disruptive.
Tackling the root of the problem takes courage. But we have to make use of this opportunity if we wish to really recover from this Corona Pandemic and prevent even more catastrophic pandemics in the future.
Praying that God would give us wisdom and courage to do what is required, in a time like this. Jai Hind.