Friday, October 30, 2009

Cops start helpline for elders (Allahabad)

Cops start helpline for elders

Kapil Dixit , TNN 15 October 2009, 09:38pm IST

ALLAHABAD: Elderly can now heave a sigh of relief. The police
department has launched a helpline for senior citizens asking them to
their complaints/grievances on it and police would be at their
doorstep for immediate help.

The move comes following some brutal killings of elderly people and
increased cases of attacks on them in the district.

DIG\SSP Chandraprakash told TOI, "We have started receiving complaints
from senior citizens on the helpline and the police stations concerned
have been asked to get in touch with the complainants and sort their
problems grievances at the earliest." He said that cops have been
strictly told to offer immediate help to the elderly and that any
laxity on their part would be invite punishment.

Meanwhile, senior police officials have appealed to senior people to
register their complaints on the helpline. Further, the police will
not disclose the identity of the complaints who want to register
complaints without revealing their names. There many elders in the
city who are humiliated by their own families. Such people want to use
the helpline but want to keep their identities hidden fearing a
backlash from their family members.

Wednesday killing, where an aged couple was put to death in Handia,
has again raised the issue of safety of elderly in the district. In
fact, this was the seventh case reported in the city after Lukerganj
incident when an elderly was done to death. In Lukerganj, a
85-year-old person was found murdered in his room. The case is yet to
be sorted out.

"These incidents have not only rocked the entire city but have also
instilled fear in the senior citizens in the city and adjoining
areas," said 72-year-old R K Pandey. However, grievances of elderly
could be addressed if police officials make some sincere efforts,'' he

Cops too admit that the security of senior citizens, for long, has
remained a cause of concern in the district. ``Earlier, there was no
proper mechanism in place to ensure security for elderly, but with
this helpline things can be better for them,'' said a cop.

Meanwhile, the police are also busy updating the records of senior
citizens thana wise. In the past eight months, nine senior citizens
were killed and 23 others looted and assaulted in the district.

The senior police authorities have assured that they would hold
regular meetings with elderly people and would hear their grievances
besides telling them about some security measures. Old people,
especially those residing in isolated colonies, often end up as soft
targets for the criminals.

Many senior citizens are also victims of domestic misbehaviour and
violence, with no proper mechanism in place to ensure their safety.
Even police admit that besides becoming gullible targets to criminals,
many senior citizens are subjected to domestic abuse. Many victims,
however, fear banishment from the family refrain from lodging a
complaint with the police.

Police officials have issued instructions to beat in-charges asking
them to immediately respond to any complaint from an elderly person.
The rationale behind this is that beat in-charges, owing to their
proximity to an area, can immediately rush to the help of elderly.

Helpline Number -- 0532-2440700, 2250600

Elderly persons can now meet DIG/SSP Chandraprakash every Thursday
between 12 noon and 1pm and narrate their problems to him.

In A Nutshell
* Police to popularise its elderly helpline
* Elderly records are yet to be updated thana wise
* A total of nine murder cases of elderly reported in past eight
months in the district.
* Scheme to prompt disposal of complaints underway.
* Each day, three or four complaints being put up before senior cops.
* Plan of updating the list of old age and childless couples now see the light.
* Couples demanding to take their cases to fast track for speedy disposal.
Safety measures
* Facility of private security guard can be avail after proper verification.
* Jewellery, extra cash and costlier articles should be kept in bank lockers
* Services of domestic help, milkman, and other helpers should be
availed only after proper police verification.
* Elderly can seek help from neighbours/acquaintances at the times of
crisis. They can also helped by alarm systems.
* Always have police officials mobile/landline numbers for help.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy,
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278

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