Mumbai fights covid

BMC: Winning city’s faith, fighting the Covid storm

When there is a will, there is a way…..

On a sultry afternoon I dropped my father and my uncle at a Covid vaccination center at Dadar, Central Mumbai, for their second dose.  A day before Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had started city’s first Drive-in Covid vaccination center for senior citizens at Kohinoor Square.

Kohinoor, a defunct mill, overcoming many obstacles was ready to open as a retail / commercial space when the second Covid wave hit Maharashtra and India. The drive-in vaccination center is yet another novel experiment that the corporation has been implementing since last one year to chase the virus.

Mumbai fights Covid

Back home, I read about Supreme Court appreciating the Mumbai model of combating Covid while hearing a case related to oxygen shortage in Delhi. Appreciating the ‘non-political’ model, the court urged Delhi to follow some learnings. The purpose of mentioning this comment here is not to dwell on the political circumstances / incidences. As a nation, we need to fight this unprecedented challenge together, leaning on each other’s expertise and learnings.

These developments complimented some thoughts going through my mind since last few days. Having grown up in this megapolis, I wondered when was the last time I felt reassured by the municipal corporation?  Which was the last municipal commissioner who impressed me with his work / vision/ leadership? These questions had started becoming louder in my head after watching this interview of Iqbal Singh Chahal, BMC Commissioner. The confident, calm and assertive commissioner placed the vision, use of technology, team spirit and determination of his staff to get Mumbai rid of Covid.

Serving the city

Upon thinking, I realised this reassurance of BMC’s strength, skill, power and commitment was closer home all these years. Growing up in late 80s – early 90s several conversations with my late mother were about ‘what BMC can do when it wants to and decides to do’. There was a sense of pride and respect when she spoke about her employer. Rightly so, because BMC was just not her employer but that of the family. A battery of family members, including my grandfather, served this city by being virtue of BMC employees in different capabilities.

As a little girl visiting my mother’s office, she would proudly show around the ward officer’s cabin, different departments, explain importance of each of the departments, etc. My last memory is that of visiting the office for her farewell. This time she gave me a glimpse of the traffic control room.

Since last few years this sense of confidence had dwindled amongst the citizens, even its own employees. But with the outbreak of Covid-19 the civic frontline warriors fought with a mighty heart. Most of its ardent critics also started appreciating BMC, its communication and most importantly the sense of reassurance it gave to people during the most trying times.

A click away

Today, BMC’s Twitter handle, updates from its officers and contact numbers of the ward war rooms have become integral for citizens to follow. The result is declining number of cases from its peak in early April, availability of beds and now updates of BMC preparing for the possible third wave.

Why should it matter for the readers of The Winning Spirit?

Personally, this has been a learning experience of:

  • Winning back confidence of your stakeholders
  • Delivering and caring for your stakeholders when it matters the most
  • Having pride in the work you do or your organisation does
  • Appreciating someone’s efforts when they truly deserve it. Surely, there can be areas of improvement and new ways of managing things

As my mother would have perhaps said – “Now you understand what BMC can do and has the capacity to do..”

The biggest lesson has been – When there is a will, there is a way!   

What is your winning spirit about regaining confidence?

Nurture Winning Thoughts !

1 thought on “BMC: Winning city’s faith, fighting the Covid storm”

  1. Very nicely expressed, Tejal! It’s true, where these is a will there is definitely a way.
    Keep posting and keep up the winning spirit 🙂

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