The Mysore Cooperative Housing Society is a landmark colony in Mumbai’s Chembur area. An oasis in the crowded city, it comprises over 100 bungalows and many lush green spaces across several acres of land. This is no antidote for all of Mumbai’s problems, of course. Like all large communities, it also needs to deal with the growing footfall at the gate, the threat of water-borne disease, and much else, particularly given that the majority of residents here are senior citizens.
Jayaram Sharma, who has been the Chairman of the society for four years and has lived here since the 1960s, discussed with us the various ways in which the 10-member management committee ensures a healthy, secure, and happy community.
What is the role that the management committee plays at The Mysore Co-operative Housing Society?
The majority of residents here are in their sixties and typically live alone. Therefore, the management committee’s job is to provide every assistance to ensure their lives run smoothly. To give you a few examples of what we do:
- The housekeeping staff cleans common areas regularly and are also trained on waste segregation;
- We maintain gym and yoga facilities and encourage our residents to leverage these for better health;
- Each house within the community has a water sump to battle water scarcity; we offer tank cleaning facility twice a year;
- We arrange regular pest control activities to keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay;
- The last Saturday of every month is dedicated to a community gathering with snacks and music;
- We have provided Optical Fibre-based connectivity to each house, which means residents get internet access.;
- We also have a wet waste management system that is used to compost green waste.
All of this is done at a very low maintenance charge.
What measures have been taken to increase security?
There are about 24 CCTV cameras installed across the premises. To ensure foolproof security, we regularly monitor them to identify any abnormal activity and take necessary action. Each home has an intercom facility. In case of an emergency, the residents can press 1 and get in touch with security instantly.
Also, our society is surrounded by lush green gardens with walkways for the elderly to walk and jog. There have been instances in the past when the residents have tripped or slipped while walking around. In order to avoid this, we have installed rubber tiles to offer a slip-resistant experience.
What made the committee feel the need for a solution like MyGate?
With an ever-increasing footfall of unidentified faces at the society main gate – cab, taxi, and rickshaw drivers, and other household staff – security is our primary concern. We were looking to adopt a system that could help us with better visibility as to who is entering the gate and being allowed access on a daily basis.
Broadcasting communications across the society members was another area of concern as most of the announcements would happen on WhatsApp and residents would tend to miss. We are leveraging MyGate’s Notice Board feature to avoid any loss in translation.
Additionally, we were looking to integrate some kind of technology with existing CCTV cameras that would allow easy entry for vehicles with automatic boom barriers. This is where we find MyGate’s ANPR feature extremely helpful and our discussions to implement it are in the final phase.
What are the challenges you face as a member of the committee?
In a society with our kind of demographics, the biggest challenge is bringing about a behavioural shift – whether it is the residents who are used to a certain kind of lifestyle for decades and prefer it that way or the security guards who are accustomed to saluting familiar faces and letting them walk in and out of the society without questioning them.
In such an environment, trying to introduce a modern system requires a radical shift in mindset. But still, we are off to a good start and with user-friendly, intuitive solutions like MyGate, we will arrive soon!