Malabar Hill resident Kuldip Bhatia (72) had registered herself with the Mumbai Police’s senior citizen helpline 1090.
She had also taken all the precautions specified in the helpline's manual. So how were two men able to attack her in her flat on Saturday morning and steal Rs 13 lakh in valuables?
Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandhan told Hindustan Times: “Registering yourself with the helpline does not guarantee you will be 100 per cent safe.”
With the increasing prevalence of nuclear families in the city, many of the old have been left to take care of themselves. To address that, the Mumbai Police launched the helpline ElderLine in 2006, to complement an existing helpline started in 2004.
Of the estimated four lakh senior citizens living alone in Mumbai, only 4,100 have registered with ElderLine. To improve that number, on September 18, the police launched a website, www.hamarisuraksha.com, that can create a database of all senior citizens, with their own details, as well as those of their family, drivers, domestic help, watchmen etc.
The police chief said the idea behind Elderline is that if a domestic help knows the police have his details, it becomes a deterrent in his plans to commit a crime. “Within five days of its launch in Malabar Hill, 1,200 senior citizens have registered. Our aim is to make this number 20,000, then 40,000 all over the city,” said Sivanandhan.
The police plan to educate local citizens groups, and increase the number of security cameras in apartment buildings.