The sound of the sirens brings out the walkers


The lockdown starts at six pm but people still go for walks in the parks. The police can’t do much.

Chandigarh: Every evening at 6:00 the loud sound of sirens fills the air across Chandigarh and everyone hurries home. But, the evening walkers, instead, lace their shoes and begin their walk to the parks.

The Chandigarh administration might have imposed a lockdown for everyone, but that is not stopping the daily walkers from taking their evening constitutional.

“We go on rounds around the area and try to send people back home,” said Lady Constable Kusum. “People move when they see us and then come back after we leave.”

“I come daily for the walk,” said Gurpreet Kaur, a resident of Sector 46, Chandigarh. “I walk for about 10 to 15 minutes. I always maintain proper social distance from others,” said Gurpreet in a muffled voice behind her mask.

People gather in the parks after six pm, the lockdown time.

Another walker, Narinder Singh said, “I come home around 5:30 pm. By the time I freshen up, it gets late. That is the reason I go for a walk around six or seven. But I always maintain social distance and wear my mask.”

Most of the time, these people just walk in groups on the road and have no excuses when the police ask them. “They don’t have an answer when we ask them why they are roaming around. If we stop them then we become the villains,” said Kusum.

“People can easily do their workout at home,” said Kulbir Singh, a fitness trainer. “Aerobics, yoga and other workout routines can be followed to keep the body moving. Going out is not the only way. Even when people go to gyms, they work out indoors only.”

“I don’t walk around often,” said Kanwalpreet Kaur, who was walking on the road. “I only go when I have to buy something from the grocery store or the chemist.”

The social distancing protocols are not followed by people who are already violating the lockdown rules.

The government has allowed the movement of vehicles and pedestrians from five in the morning till six in the evening. But, still, people prefer to walk after the lockdown.

“People have time to go in the morning,” said Kulbir. “The lockdown ends in the morning at five, so people can easily go then. Waking up early and going to bed early would help them eventually.”

“I don’t have time in the morning for the walk,” said Gurpreet. “Also, my doctor has recommended that I walk for at least 10 minutes every day.”

Kusum said that many times people behaved rudely with the officers on duty. “People start calling us names. It becomes difficult to handle them.”

“People should try and go for the walks in the morning”

“Yesterday, a lady started crying when we asked her to return to her place. She started shouting and went hyper,” she added. “There’s nothing much we can do about this situation. We try our best by being as strict as possible but people don’t listen.”

“Social distancing is necessary right now,” said Kulbir. “People who go out are not those who workout seriously. You don’t need groups to work out.”