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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Poor infrastructure, inaccessible public spaces

Mugdha Variyar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 05, 2012
First Published: 00:22 IST(5/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:24 IST(5/10/2012)

Even though they live on the first floor of their buiding, a broken-down elevator confined Miru Mirani, 67, and her 77-year-old husband to their Andheri home for a large part of the past three months.

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“It is difficult for us to take the stairs. After my husband fractured his foot five months ago, even getting out of the building has been a problem,” said Mirani. Infrastructure problems, such as lack of elevators or ramps in housing societies or in public buildings, plague thousands of senior citizens every day. In a draft of its senior citizen policy, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has highlighted the need for ramps and railings to help senior citizens in the city.

Sailesh Mishra, founder president of Silver Inning Foundation, a not-for-profit, said, “Three weeks ago, my mother broke her hip. She had to be brought home from the hospital on a stretcher, but the elevator in our building could not accommodate one,” said Mishra, who lives on the eight floor of his Mira Road building. “Housing societies are not friendly towards the elderly.”

Silver Inning Foundation recently forwarded the World Health Organisation Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities to the civic body and the state government so they could incorporate some measures. “Many skywalks have been built in the city, but no one has considered how the elderly will climb those stairs,” added Mishra.

At the Krishnakala Trust Old Age Home in Mira Road, the ten resident senior citizens have had to forego any kind of outing in the last five years, barring one picnic. “Since buses do not wheelchair ramps, we haven’t been able to take the elderly for outings,” said Umadevi Krishnamurthy, the founder of the home.


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In what ways have the elderly been neglected? What can be done to make their lives more comfortable?
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