Hyderabad: Around 6,500 Resident Welfare Associations of Hyderabad, including 3,000 apartment associations, under the banner of the United-Federation of Resident Welfare Associations (U-FERWAS), has written to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao urging him to involve them in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the city.
"This is an unprecedented situation. The government must take civil society, especially Resident Welfare Associations into confidence. We are the primary stakeholders and understand the ground realities. Zonal teams will definitely help in better coordination. We will strive to build a network of hospitals, resources, and volunteers but government endorsement is necessary," Maj. Shiva Kiran of U-FERWAS told NewsMeter.
In the letter, the association pointed out that it has worked with various Resident Welfare Associations and has contacts with groups like Forum for Better Hyderabad, Blue Cross of Hyderabad, APSA, Senior Citizens Forum, and other organizations.
"In the wake of the corona impact and stress on the limited resources of the government departments, U-FERWAS has time and again volunteered to offer services of its members in strengthening the efforts of the government machinery," the letter read.
In view of the COVID-19 situation in the city, it requested the state establish 10-member zonal coordination teams for each GHMC zone (GHMC has six zones) to monitor hospitals, beds, fees, testing centres, patients support, and vaccination facilities. It also suggested identifying suitable locations in each zone like hostels, hotels, and guest houses that can be converted into isolation centres or temporary care centres with skeletal staff from hospitals and volunteers.
"The zonal teams will also monitor the vaccination drive through mobile vaccination teams within the zone so that hospital linkages are available in case of need," U-FERMAS wrote.
The signatories to the letter included several doctors, journalists and legal counsels. The association also said retired senior bureaucrats like ex-DGP Aruna Bahuguna, former director of NRSC Dr. D.P Rao, and Padmasri awardee Dr. Subba Rao have expressed their willingness to lend their support to U-FERMAS.
Mr B T Srinivas, who heads the Malkajgiri welfare association added, "RWAs are the fourth layer of administration. In the first wave of covid pandemic lock down, we volunteered and looked after elderly people in the respective communities with medicines & groceries supply, mobilized mobile Rythu Bazaars in 390 RWAs area on each day to prevent COVID spread. The second wave in our state this time is deadly and wanted to involve our RWA members to whatever is needed for the community across Greater Hyderabad.
The association reminded the CM of its own efforts to prevent COVID-19 among its members and said it had mobilized colony-wise resident teams comprising doctors, eminent citizens, and ex-servicemen to maintain contact with all residents and identify any cases and counsel them.