No helpline to take distress calls, elders a worried lot | india | Hindustan Times
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No helpline to take distress calls, elders a worried lot

india Updated: Apr 17, 2011 23:43 IST
Darpan Singh

The story of two Noida sisters, who chose to subject themselves to months of self-deprivation due to personal loss-induced depression, has shook the citizens, triggering a blame game among the RWA, police and citizens.

But there are thousands of others who keep suffering in isolation. And they don’t choose to deprive themselves.

There has not been adequate security to more than 2 lakh senior citizens in the city. Much hue and cry was raised when a doctor’s wife was hacked to death in sector 21. But nothing has changed even after four years — evident from a similar killing of a 70-year-old woman inside her house near the Noida Expressway recently.

With no helpline still in place to take calls in distress, the

elderly due to their physical weakness and lonely status are a worried lot.

“The Behl sisters’ case has brought about a disturbing reality. It’s much like social networking sites. People are interested in the brand of pizza being delivered to your household, but they will ignore genuine issues plaguing you,” said a resident.

Senior superintendent of police SN Singh said if the RWA brings any case of a senior citizen suffering, he will take action.

He, however, did not react to the fact that the RWA of sector 29, where the Behl sisters lived, did inform the police about their plight but no help came along.

Forum useless

If the elderly have become a soft target, especially in urban surroundings, it’s not for nothing. The Senior Citizens’ Safety and Security Task Force under the Noida Citizens’ Forum has not met in the last five years.

NGOs, RWAs and housing societies were also supposed to play an active role in the forum. Top police, administrative and Noida Authority officials, besides noted elderly intellectuals of the city are part of this now-defunct taskforce.

The forum set up in 2004 had made recommendations for a better quality of life, besides social, emotional and security needs for the elderly.

Despite relentless communication with district magistrates and police officers, besides Noida Authority officials, for implementation of the plans, there has been no progress.

The action plan, which is yet to be implemented, advocated for creation of a helpline, engage volunteers, set up interaction groups for empowerment and beat depression-like troubles.