COVID-19 impact: Mumbai cops seek a room of their own, to keep families from harm
Constables who tested positive decide to stayaway from families till the situation improves
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to test those in the first line of defence. After two police officers were found to have COVID-19, two constables attached to MHB police station have decided to stay away from their families, to protect them, until the situation improves.
The constables are searching for a separate room to rent in the police colony in Borivli to avoid close contact with their families. The duo barely go home to avoid contact with their families.
'Want to stay away'
The women constables have been deployed in Ganpat Patil Nagar at Dahisar West which has a slum with more than 50,000 people. One of the constables, a 40-year-old said, "I stay with my two kids aged 5 and 13, and my husband. I decided to live separately and have been searching for a room in the police colony for few days. I don't want to harm my kids and my husband. I love them a lot. If I get infected by this Coronavirus, at least my family will be safe at home. Our duty is important and we will do it honestly."
The other woman constable, 38, travels from Dahanu to Mumbai every day. She said, "I spend my maximum time in travelling and daily I deal with more than a 1,000 people on the field. I am deployed at Ganpat Patil Nagar slum area and it's really difficult to control people in this area. Most people here come out of their homes to find work in this crisis to earn some money. We can't even fine them as they are unable to pay the amount. Sometimes we do lathicharge them. It is a bad feeling to hit someone, but in this lockdown people must understand that we are here for their security and are not their enemies." She stays with her 15-year-old son and husband.
Both constables further said that while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has announced that the family of a cop who dies due to COVID-19 will get R50 lakh as compensation, instead, the government should make arrangements to get the police separate accomodation for some days.
Amita Warang, a constable's wife from Borivli west has appealed to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to save families of the police. Warang said, "My husband deals with many people on the roads. I requested Deshmukh Sir on telephone to give some separate space to all police man. If they live separately they should also get two meals and breakfast. The state government should work on this and help police families.
Lectures for cops' families
After a mid-day report, 'Give us place to stay or allow us to send families home' on April 8, the state government has been holding lectures with BMC doctors at police colonies and teaching cops' families about precautions to take when a cop comes home from work.
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