Archives: June 6, 2022

Swatchh Bharat: How Housing Committees are Working Towards cleaner Societies

The old adage of “cleanliness is next to Godliness” is one of the most important tenets in a residential complex or a gated community. Keeping a clean environment requires sustained effort and strict implementation by the management. But what makes it so important and how can a management committee ensure a clean environment within the premises? Read on to find out. 

Why is cleanliness important in a gated community?

The cleanliness of a city falls under the purview of municipal corporations. However, gated communities typically manage many of their civic amenities internally, including the maintenance of clean premises. Hence, the regular cleaning and garbage handling is the management committees’ responsibility. In most societies, these tasks are handled by housekeeping staff that can include cleaners and waste handlers. In some places, gardeners or landscaping staff may also fall into this category as they are responsible for keeping lawns and garden areas clean. These tasks are critical for the following reasons:

  • Maintaining hygiene in the society
  • Keeping the premises clean and free of clutter
  • Ensuring an aesthetic appeal
  • Prolonging the lifespan of assets like railings or water/drain pipes. 
  • Removing any chances of infestations 
  • Keeping a clear path for movement of residents
  • Removing chances of fire hazard
  • Maintaining resale value 
  • Uplifting the spirit of residents

Responsibilities of housekeeping staff

The housekeeping staff is essentially responsible for maintaining clean and hygienic premises. This can include:

  • Cleaning common areas, including walls, rugs, and furniture 
  • Sweeping of roads and other paved areas 
  • Cleaning pipes and drains
  • Dusting, wiping, or polishing of assets like lifts, furniture and other soft furnishings. 
  • Garbage collection
  • Ensuring that water or other waste is not collected at any site for a prolonged period.
  • Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming common areas
  • Undertaking minor repair and maintenance work. 

How do MCs ensure a clean environment?

Ensuring clean premises requires a continuous multi-level approach by the management. It’s important here to understand that the responsibility for cleanliness does not lie with the management and cleaners alone. It is also the responsibility of each resident to follow all guidelines on littering, garbage disposal, and coordinating with the cleaning staff. The management ensures cleanliness in the complex premises through the following measures: 

  • Regular supervision of cleaning staff to check attendance and performance
  • Formulating garbage collection policies to ensure proper segregation and timely collection. 
  • Maintaining smooth coordination with municipal bodies or private vendors for timely disposal of garbage. 
  • Carrying out timely maintenance of hardware such as pipes and floors. 
  • Ensuring hygienic conditions by removing any garbage pile up or water accumulation.
  • Regularly supervise and analyse STP capability and functioning. 
  • Plan and enforce policies on waste and recycling management.
  • Formulate and enforce cleanliness policies, including waste segregation and littering.

How does ApnaComplex help in maintaining cleanliness? 

A key aspect of maintaining a clean society is timely communication. The implementation of cleanliness policies depends on effective and timely communication. ApnaComplex assists the residential communities in ensuring immaculate surroundings by offering residents, management committee, and the staff a common platform of communication. This can assist in the following ways.

  • MC can inform all residents of various policies through the ApnaComplex app.
  • ApnaComplex Community Wiki acts as a repository of information on various initiatives, articles, tips and newsletters
  • Residents can lodge complaints and suggestions.
  • ApnaComplex Admin Console helps in professional processing of complaints, suggestions and requests through SLA-based matrices. 

ApnaComplex is India’s leading mobile and web-based platform for apartment management and accounting. It leverages a comprehensive ERP that integrates various dimensions of managing a residential complex, from managing finances, to managing data and operations. ApnaComplex is offered as a hosted solution with zero infrastructure setup by the society

How Residents can Help their Elderly Neighbours

The elderly have always been valued members of every community in India. Grandparents, older neighbours, and even unknown seniors are treated with respect and deference. However, urbanisation and the growth of nuclear families have had an adverse impact on this tradition with more and more elderly now often living on their own. 

The increasing isolation of the elderly becomes even more concerning when we consider their expanding population which is expected to rise by 41% in the coming decade to reach 194 mn in 2031. It means that we are likely to have more and more elderly people in our neighbourhood.

Why the elderly may need help? 

In the absence of the traditional joint family, many senior citizens today are often living alone or may not have sufficient help at home. This can be both emotionally and physically challenging for older people. They are highly likely to suffer from anxiety regarding their health. Advancing age also increases the likelihood of severe cognitive impairment and mental and neurological disorders like dementia or alzheimer’s. 

Physically, the aged population is the most vulnerable as the incidence of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes increases with age. It also takes them longer to bounce back from an illness. As their overall energy and strength levels decrease with age, the ability to take up strenuous work also becomes limited. 

But one of the biggest reasons why we must go out of our way to help elderly neighbours are the intangible benefits that we can gain, including wise counsel and companionship.

How can resident associations help the elderly?

Resident associations can take some simple but very effective steps to help their elderly members, such as:

Checking regularly: A small team should be assigned to regularly check on the aged population that lives alone. This should preferably be done through in-person calls since many older people may be reluctant to share their concerns to avoid burdening others. It can also go a long way in lessening their feeling of isolation.  

Assign an emergency team: One of the major concerns among older people is falling severely sick where they may need urgent medical assistance. Hence, it is advisable to assign a team that can be available in an emergency. The team should have contact details of aged residents and their next of kin. They should also make themselves aware of the procedure to follow in case of a medical emergency in terms of notifying family members, calling an ambulance and keeping a tab of nearby health centres.

Ensuring safe neighbourhood: An accidental fall can have a far-reaching impact on the elderly. As bones get more brittle with time, a fracture often takes a very long time to heal, further curbing their mobility. Yet, senior citizens must stay physically active. Hence, care must be taken that walkways are properly maintained and there are no obstacles, bumps, and uneven surfaces. Avoid putting any stairs on walking routes and ensure every place can be accessed by a wheelchair. Similarly, terraces and stairs should always have handrails.

Space for rest and community: The walkways should have benches at certain intervals to allow people to take some rest on their walk. A place for elders to gather and meet their contemporaries is also extremely important as this sense of community can be vital for their mental wellbeing. 

Helping with chores: Reach out frequently to the senior citizens in the society to find out if they need help with chores. This can include carrying out their grocery shopping, driving them to a meeting or religious place, or for smaller tasks around the house. 

Involving in community activities: Make the effort to involve senior citizens in community activities, such as appointing them in an advisory role for community-wide events or religious functions. We can identify people with unique skills and qualifications, such as those interested in arts or gardening, and involve them in related activities.

These are just some of the small steps we can take to create a safe and friendly atmosphere for the elderly neighbour in our community. Remember, frequent visits, phone calls, and just staying constantly in touch with them will go a long way in fostering their wellbeing and happiness.

How does ApnaComplex help in creating elder-friendly societies?

As an apartment management app, ApnaComplex can help in driving elder-friendly environment in a residential complex through the following features:

Gatekeeper: With security being one of the key concerns for most senior residents, entry regulations through ApnaComplex Gatekeeper feature ensures a comprehensive security system. Residents receive real-time notifications on visitors, pre-approve entry of chosen guests or delivery personnel, and can track staff attendance. 

Communication: This feature provides senior citizens an opportunity to connect with others in the community. The app contains discussion forums and groups where they can find like-minded people, seek companionship, or find useful information. It also acts as a crucial information platform through Community Wiki, Notice Board, and Document Repository. 

Online Society Helpdesk: One of the main challenges for many senior residents is ensuring regular maintenance of repair of their home. Today, many housing complexes offer these services for residents. With the Online Society Helpdesk, residents can raise complaints and drop suggestions. It allows the society management to track redressal of complaints, ensuring timely resolution. 

With end-to-end apartment management solutions, ApnaComplex allows resident associations to create a safe, friendly, and convenient place for elderly neighbours.

Graphic with text "How to Improve Kids’ Play Area' with a background of a playground

What to Keep in Mind When Remodeling Kids’ Play Area

There are numerous reasons why children need outdoor playtime. Other than ensuring good physical health, play is also important for their mental health and in learning crucial social skills. Children find friends, learn to interact with others, and develop confidence in their physical and social skills through outdoor activities. Games also play an important role in stimulating their curiosity and their drive to work towards a goal. They get to work with others, form friendships, and learn about group dynamics. Hence, a playground is seen as an essential component in any residential area. Other than attracting families, playgrounds often double up as socialising spots for parents, grandparents, or other caretakers. 

If your society has just a swing and slide for a playground, it may be time to reboot, refurbish, and improve the playing lot. Here are a few essential steps that you can follow:

Pick a good location

The play area can be situated in the middle of the complex or at any corner, but it’s critical to keep it away from any hazardous places like STP, water tanks, garbage area, cylinder storage, and mechanical or electrical closets. Similarly, it should not be located on a terrace even if you have high fences or railings. Children can be ingenious when trying to overcome such challenges.

Include these 3 essential elements 

Every play area should have active, sensory, and creative elements. Active elements include slides, swings, monkey bars, and other similar equipment. Pick any playing apparatus that encourages children to climb, hop, jump, balance, swing, pull or push. The most common sensory play areas are in the form of sand pits where children can be messy. You can also add implements like toy spades or buckets. 

Creative elements can include blackboards, musical instruments like metal pipes, tree houses, or a play house. These are places that let their imagination take hold. Other than these play areas, see if you can extend the playground into green areas, like a garden with trees where children can spend some time with nature. 

Get suitable flooring

Children can very easily fall prey to a sudden accident. It is advisable to go for rubber flooring in active play areas. The rubber surface protects children from falls and reduces the chances of injuries. Today, you can also get rubber mats with interesting patterns. At the same time, make sure that any hazardous elements like sharp objects are removed from the play area. 

Add benches

While children are rarely interested in benches, their caretakers do find them handy. Add a couple of benches or similar seating areas for parents and other caretakers. They are more likely to linger and let the children play if they also have a place to sit and wait.

Ensure regular maintenance 

Regular maintenance of the play area is critical to ensure safety. Apart from regular cleaning and sweeping of the area, we must also carry out regular inspections of the equipment to check for loose bolts or attachments, broken or jagged edges, or any other apparatus that is coming apart. Sand pits must be raked regularly to check for bits of glass, feces, rocks, and other foreign objects. Any issues like stagnating water or pits in the flooring must be immediately addressed. The same goes for play equipment that has been damaged. Keep in mind that this can directly impact the safety of children. For more details on maintaining a play area, read our article here

Play areas are an essential investment for any residential area, necessary for the health and wellbeing of their most precious occupants – small children. The regular improvement and maintenance of the play area are necessary not only for their enjoyment, but also to ensure their overall wellbeing and safety.