In Focus

Locals Say Police Action Kept Covid Casualties Minimal: A PhotoEssay

If it weren't for the Colaba Division's Police Personnel, things would have surely gone downhill for the zone's slum-dwellers, they maintain. In The Draft Colaba's news documentary Unsung Mumbai Police - Colaba Division, they speak at length about how their respective police station's personnel reached out at a time when few would, helped them at a time when none would and ensured that the losses were minimal.

The Draft Colaba's Unsung Mumbai Police - Colaba Division details the superhuman efforts undertaken by the Mumbai Police's Colaba Division that includes personnel from Cuffe Parade Police Station, Colaba Police Station and Marine Drive Police Station. 

"Many people lost their jobs during the lockdown and it were the police who supplied them with food and subsistence," says Mahesh Malakar who lives in Ambedkar Nagar with wife Sarita and daughters Nidhi and Aradhya.

"At a time when the fears of contracting the virus were high, the police, without any hesitation, stepped in to help everyone including foreign nationals," says Ambedkar Nagar resident Sudha Choudhary.

"Despite surmounting challenges while controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the slums, the police ensured residents' needs, medical and other, were taken care of," says Mohalla Committee member and Ambedkar Nagar resident Pramod Joshi. 

"Local police were very prompt in transporting people to their villages, providing ration, etc., during the lockdown," says Ambedkar Nagar resident Rafika Khan.

"If it weren't for the police, COVID cases in cramped-for-space slums would have easily been four-five times more. They risked their own lives to ensure the safety of slum-dwellers," says Ambedkar Nagar resident Suresh Malakar who was felicitated by the Mumbai Police for his assistance during the lockdown. 

"The police kept us informed and updated of the swiftly and randomly changing Covid guidelines which was very helpful," says Ganesh Murti Nagar resident Kalimuddin Shaikh.

"The local police helped many migrant workers living in the slums here and eager to return home during the lockdown," says Ganesh Murti Nagar resident Mukhtar Ansari.

"The police were very supportive during the lockdown...they provided ration and helped the stranded too," says Ganesh Murti Nagar resident Saira Bano.

"If it were not for the support of family members, most frontline workers and volunteers would not have been able to work during the lockdown," says Suresh Malakar who lives with elderly father Rajnath, wife Laxmi, daughters Nandini and Khushi and son Krishna.

"The police were very cooperative during the lockdown and sensitive to the slum-dwellers' needs," says local activist Usha Waghmare.

"The local police were extremely helpful in ensuring the well-being of the residents. They distributed ration to those in need, helped maintain Covid guidelines during festivals even arranged for alternative accommodation during a cyclone," says Geeta Nagar resident and Mohalla Committee member Navnath Dhokle.

"It was very difficult and risky to deliver food and medical supplies through the narrow lanes of the slums during the lockdown but the police managed to do it all and without a hitch," says Geeta Nagar resident Santosh Dalvi.

"During the pandemic, thousands of migrant workers who were living in the slums of Cuffe Parade area were left stranded. At the time, Cuffe Parade police personnel made sure each one of them was able to return home, safely and swiftly despite the risks," says Mohalla Committee member and Cuffe Parade Transit Camp resident Sayyad Bukhari.

"Despite the risks, the police personnel made sure the residents didn't stay hungry during the lockdown even attended to those in need of medical help," says Ambedkar Nagar resident Afzal Qureshi.


Watch Unsung Mumbai Police - Colaba Division (May 2022) here.
Watch Unsung - The Film (November 2020) here.
Watch all segments under #TheUnsungProject here.


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