The helpline, WhatsApp number 9677243222, was started by the MLA four days ago
Kalaiselvi Rajnikanth, a resident of Muthu Street, Mylapore, was quarantined at home recently, as her children had tested COVID-19 positive. She could not leave home to get the ₹2,000 given by the government as financial aid. She sent a message to a helpline started by Mylapore MLA Dha. Velu, and volunteers helped her get the money the next day.
The helpline, WhatsApp number 9677243222, was started by the MLA four days ago to help elderly people, persons with disabilities and COVID-19 patients in his constituency during the pandemic. Till date, he has extended help, with the help of volunteers, to over 100 people.
“I texted on the MLAs number and in some time, volunteers arrived at my house and collected my details. They helped me get the relief money quickly. Such a platform to convey problems to the elected representatives is a good move,” said Ms. Kalaiselvi. Residents feel that such an initiative should be replicated in all constituencies.
According to Mr. Velu, elderly people are vulnerable to the virus, hence they cannot step out to get the relief money or even essentials. “This is the same case with COVID-19 patients and some persons with disabilities. Since we have volunteers and party cadres in 13 divisions in the constituency, I am able to help the people,” he explained. He said that apart from relief, people call him to get the streets cleaned up, deliver essentials and other civic issues. “I forward these requests to volunteers or Greater Chennai Corporation officials and get the issue sorted out quickly. I also follow up on the complaints and get reactions from the public,” he added.
Apart from this, the MLA has also started an awareness drive about vaccination especially in the slums in Mylapore. “We have to reach out to the people and build trust. People can contact me any time. Even if I miss their call, I will call back,” he said.
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