25 October, 2018
The Police have launched many initiatives on their part to ensure the safety of the senior citizens in many cities in India. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of such initiatives. The police have realized that many senior citizens are living alone, with the kids and grandkids living outside the state or even the country. Also, most people are afraid to engage with the police as such. Hence, they have launched these citizen-friendly initiatives, especially for senior citizens in many cities. These initiatives are making sure that they reach out to the senior citizens, provide them confidence, and they are engaging with them to ensure their safety.
As far back as Dec 2017, the Coimbatore police have launched an initiative called as “Say Hello.” According to news reports about this initiative, the police have collected details of senior citizens who are residing alone in the city. At the time of launch, they had 44 beats across the city, and the beat police were asked to make calls to these senior citizens every day to ensure their safety. The police officers said they would even meet the people once in a while, and the senior citizens were given the confidence to share their mobile numbers and also reach out to the police, even if they needed any medical assistance, which would be arranged.
The Kolkata Police, in a joint initiative with The Bengal and Dignity Foundation, has launched a unique initiative called Pronam, for the senior citizens in the city. They have set up a permanent office near Ballygunge Police Station to act as the central coordinating office for building up a database of the seniors, with also a 24-hour helpline to attend to distress calls from senior citizens. For assisting all seniors who have registered in this initiative, police teams would visit their houses, to assess issues, provide required help and even conduct security audit for the home. Volunteers from the organization mentioned above would also be part of the police teams visiting the seniors. The call center personnel are also trained to talk to the seniors, and the police would respond to the calls, based on the nature of the call.
The Delhi police recently conducted a special session for senior citizens, where they were informed about various initiatives the police are taking for the senior citizens in the city. The senior citizens were also informed about various fraudsters modus operandi to make them aware and stay safe. The senior citizens were encouraged to provide their grievances so that corrective actions could be taken. Senior citizens were informed to reach out to the helpline set up or even to the beat personnel for any emergency help for safety or health issues.
In Bengaluru, the police jointly with the Nightingales Medical Trust ensure that the senior citizen helpline functions 24*7 for redressing issues. This helpline is providing senior citizens round the clock support for any emergency issues. A newspaper report quoted the concerned authorities as saying that they received a tremendous response for this, with many seniors reaching out when they were abused as well.
Similar policy and initiatives have been launched by almost all city police divisions across India, in all the states. You need to find out the helpline number for your city and keep it handy. It could be to report any abuse or to handle any emergency, or safety issue. Most police departments handling and running these initiatives are also trained specially to handle such matters. The idea behind such initiatives either launched directly by the police or jointly with some organizations working in this space is to ensure a life of safety and dignity to the senior citizens of this country.
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