Coronavirus outbreak: Aarey tribals close doors to outsiders

Updated: Apr 04, 2020, 07:54 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

With Covid-19 cases being reported from Dharavi, the tribals have shut entry to their hamlets for the fear of contracting the infection from visitors

Along with barriers made of tree branches, stones, handwritten notes telling visitors to follow rules have also been put up in Aarey
Along with barriers made of tree branches, stones, handwritten notes telling visitors to follow rules have also been put up in Aarey

In a bid to stay away from the Coronavirus, tribals in Aarey Milk Colony have restricted entry to outsiders into their hamlets. Small trails leading to these places have been blocked for vehicles using dead tree branches and stones.

There are 27 tribal hamlets inside Aarey and some in Sanjay Gandhi National Park. While entry to the tribal hamlets in SGNP is restricted, many people still visit Aarey Milk Colony on a regular basis. Over 5,000 families of the Warli and Goma tribes reside here.

With news of Covid-19 positive cases being reported from the slum pockets of Dharavi, a panic situation has been prevailing among the tribals in Aarey.

Prakash Bhoir, a tribal leader from Aarey, said, "It is the job of every individual to make sure that they follow government orders and stay inside their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus but so many people still roam freely. We don't want such outsiders to enter our tribal hamlets and have, therefore, restricted entry to the padas."

When mid-day visited some of these places, there were also some handwritten boards at these entry points. The board put at the Chafyachapada tribal hamlet read, "All the visitors are instructed that entry to the padas has been restricted and those trespassing will have to face action."

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