Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Disease stalks a neglected slum

Disease stalks a neglected slum

Chikungunya is the latest threat and many are worried about their children's health

Residents' appeals to clear waste fall on deaf ears of civic officials

Ni-et Teronpi & Huidina N. Bangalore



WHILE most Bangaloreans wake up inhaling the fresh morning air, the slum-dwellers of ward 69 living near National Games Village want to sleep more to avoid the foul smell that surrounds their neighbourhood.
"The smell of garbage is unbearable. We've complained about it so many times to the civic officials. But the situation remains the same. Due to this, more residents are falling victims to chikungunya and other diseases.
"The house where we are living is in bad condition. The roof starts leaking when it rains." said Vani Krishnamurthy, a resident.
But Ramalinga Reddy, the local MLA, said, "I've sanctioned the money to solve the problem. It's up to the officials functioning at lower levels to make proper use of it."
An official of Dr BR Ambedkar Youth Welfare Association, which is in charge of the area, however, painted a rosy picture of the residents. He said the association helps in tackling their problems on time.
"We ensure that the problems of the residents are taken up immediately. Just two days ago, they complained of frequent power cuts. We brought it to the notice of the authority concerned and the residents are now getting steady supply of power", said X Luvies, president of the association.
Parveen Taz, a resident, disputed the claim of prompt action made by the association.
"We have been complaining about the garbage menace since long. But no action has been taken. We even went as a group to meet the civic officials to highlight our problems. Despite their promises, our condition remains the same," Taz said.
Yasmin Taz, another resident, said the filthy surrounding is posing a threat to the health of the children.
"Kids are falling sick quite often ," she said.
The latest victim of chikungunya is the pregnant wife of Aslam Badshah, a stone-cutter. She had fever and when it did not subside, she was taken to a hospital where doctors diagnosed her as suffering from chikungunya.
"I don't know what that sickness is. It's a new disease that everyone is talking about," Aslam said.

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