My Samvada with Noida’s Newsletter ‘Samvada’I sent few notes to the editor, ‘Samvada’:
October issue of Samvada had some entries of hope and I wish to share my views on some. Under- construction Community Centre can certainly be a landmark if properly used. I wish while the ground floor must serve for organising community functions including marriages, on the first floor the senior citizens of the block who held very important positions in private and public sectors must impress upon Noida Authority to set up a very good library best in NCR with books, magazines, computers and other facilities with a pride place in the lives of residents, particularly school going children and retired residents. The collection must be varied and attractive enough for inculcating the reading habit in younger generation that is essential for any career they pursue later on. For senior citizens, the library will be good place to have some good time there in a day. Noida must create through the library an ambience of knowledge society. Unfortunately, Noida lacks that badly as on today. Unfortunately, even this new building will not have even ramp for ground floor for those requiring wheelchairs or lift for reaching first floor against the provision of Accessible India(Sugamya Bharat).
It was good to read the story of Mahajan family. ‘Samvada’ must come out with more and similar stories about the outstanding citizens living among us.
I shall like to focus on an another issue of importance I.e. a provision for a play ground for kids living in F-Block on the vacant plot on the side of the community centre. We as responsible residents must take up with Noida Authority. Because of small plot sizes of all high rising residential units, none have any good enough play ground for kids for enjoying rightly the evenings or on holidays for practising games like football, cricket, after school hours. The plot adjacent to the new community centre of F-Block can be and should be converted as Children Play Ground. I wish Samvada can raise this pertinent issue.
Urgent Need for Differently-abled or very Senior Citizens with certain disabilities in our urban constructions:
For years now, Yamuna, my wife is having difficulty in walking and using stairs. Whenever we are in US, Yamuna uses a wheel chair that makes her quality of life there better, as she can go anywhere so easily. Rajesh or Anand- both have got one. Yamuna’s knee joints have further deteriorated and require surgery. However, she is not ready for surgery. Her problem has further accentuated now after surgery in August. Doctors have advised her not to use stairs.. When we returned this time in August from US, surprisingly we got a wheel chair delivered one day. It was from Anand. As Yamuna is getting recovered from her recent surgery, I feel like taking her to our own small little park in the complex, the Meghdootam Park or Meghdootam Senior Citizens Forum’s monthly meetings or someone’s apartment for a socialising using the wheelchair. Unfortunately, even Amrapali Eden Park’s builder had provided only stairs at all entrances to the four towers of the complex and a wheelchair just can’t be used. I am sure other residential complexes are also having the similar difficulties. In Amrapali Eden Park, some one would have perhaps pointed out the lack of it at later date to the builder. As Sugamya Bharat Mission launched in 2015 by Modi expects all public buildings, perhaps to meet the mandatory requirements, Amrapali built some ramps with granite top and very steep gradient without following any design norms that make it dangerous and unusable. The other day we had to go Dr. Lal Path Lab in the market complex of Sector 50 for some tests. It has the same problem-a very steep ramp. The ramps must not be with a slope more than 1 in 10 or at the most 1 in 8. It must be about 1- 1Metres wide with safe railings of about 0.9 metre in height on both sides. As it appears the Noida Authority doesn’t expect the differently-abled persons and senior citizens to visit the markets and the public places such as parks or even public toilets. Is it not highly insensitive way to look at this lot of citizens substantial in population? I discussed the problems with Mr. Mathur, Mr. Kala, Mr. Mahendra Singh of Meghdootam Senior Citizens Forum and many during our morning meets at ‘hill top’ in Meghdootam Park. We are preparing a comprehensive memorandum to be signed by the senior citizens and then presented to Noida Authority. I hope the provisions of disabled friendly features will be made compulsory in all new construction projects of Noida and every places in the country. Some of the features can also integrated in the already built buildings with some easy innovative modifications, if the need is appreciated well by those who matter for getting such work done. Will the compassionate residents and seniors take up this urgent issue in their own communities with the right authorities to decide, design modifications and get it implemented to improve the quality of living for differently-abled or senior citizens? All this can be changed with a little compassionate approaches from the builders and development authorities, be it municipalities, corporations, or some with different names. I hope it happens.)
PS: At Amrapali Eden Park, We just can’t use a wheel chair with stairs at all entrances that connect the different housing societies to Meghdootam Park. The photos show the condition of Amrapali. 1. From road you require to climb stairs, so is true for getting in and out of each tower. 2. You can’t get into the club house from any side nor you can go from one tower to the other using wheel chair. 3. You can’t get into the small in-house park or swimming pool, both at higher than floor level. 4. Getting into marketing plaza and its basement housing parlour can’t be assessed as you are to climb up or down the staircases. Entrance of towers A and B have killer ramps of their own design and specifications.I am sure the conditions will be similar everywhere.
An Appeal to RWAs of F-Block, Sector 50, Noida
Even while in US for last six months, I had been thinking about what and how we can make our lives better here in Noida living in high-rising apartment complexes of sector 50 and/or even in other sectors of Noida in other urban centres.
1. Every day while go out from the main gate of Amrapali and walk across the service road going along the nala, the odd and filthy advertisements painted on the its parapet wall, per turn and make me feel bad. It is the same case through out in Noida, be it the boundary walls or any bare space along the roads. It must not be of any pleasures to other residents too. We can do something make them pleasing to our eyes and thereby improve the overall ambience. We can certainly get our children and interested young talents amongst the residents of the communities living around as volunteers to get the walls in front of the entrance and exit gates or any such spaces painted with innovative ideas as being done in many public places such as railway stations, bridges, etc. Will some social leaders in us can think of this? With festival season and Swachhta Divas on October 2 coming pretty soon, it will certainly a great contribution to a very great national priority.
2. Many of you in your visits to your kins in US would have certainly seen the practice of garage sales there by the households. All of us must be having many items of household use that we wish to get disposed. My second suggestion is to conduct a community garage sales twice a year to dispose off items lying in our homes that will benefit both sellers and buyers. We can organise such sales where there is some open space, such as in Amrapali Eden Park in market plaza or in badminton ground. With a little planning and arrangement of security, even outsiders may be invited. It can turn into an fun day for all with a prospect of commercial gain too.
3. Unfortunately, the reading habits in our children is diminishing. We will all agree that the reading of good books is the only way to achieve in our career what we wish when we are young. For elders too, it is a great past time. It is foundation stone of a knowledge society. The habit gets a boost with accessibility with a good Library and Reading room. The RWAs must tale a lead to have the facility, may be in the club room or in basement in every community. Many country judges its progress with the quality and proximity of a good library. I have seen such interest in Japan, US and Europe too. The residents themselves can build a library with their contributions and even the government provides assistance for this.
I wish the suggestions are taken in right spirit. I have a collection of large number of books, and I keep on buying them too regularly. Any one interested can contact me at my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for any clarification.)