City police has intensified the safety awareness drive for senior citizens living alone by initiating a door-to-door enumeration with the help of electoral records. Stickers bearing numbers of the local police station and police officials are prominently pasted at homes after an interaction with senior citizens by police personnel.
On Friday, police officials from the Thirumangalam police station visited the house of Ponnuswamy (77) and Velammal (72) on Padi Kuppam Road, Thirumangalam. “They collected details such as how long we were residing here and information about our relatives. They told us to contact the police any time during a crisis and pasted a sticker with phone numbers,” said Ms.Velammal, who expressed satisfaction that the police personnel promised to check on the couple at frequent intervals.
The senior citizens' safety initiative was taken up zone-wise by police and began six months ago from South zone. Police sources said over 4,000 persons were approached and the police offered guidance to remain alert and safe. Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) P. Thamarai Kannan said: “Apart from advising elders not to entertain strangers inside the home, we have also asked their children not to send unknown persons to their parents' house for any kind of job,” the officer added.
Mr. Kannan said that the initiative to sensitise senior citizens on safety measures will continue.
President of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of Tamil Nadu D. Rajasekaran termed the initiative as ‘a dream come true.'
“We have been requesting the police for the enumeration of senior citizens and assurance of safety by frequent visits for the last few years as per the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,” said Mr. Rajasekaran.
However, some like Y.K. Sankaran (62) who lives with his wife at K.R. Koil Street, West Mambalam, are not too optimistic about such a drive. “My house was burgled in the early hours of January 21 and I lost gold jewellery, silver items and cash. The incident took place two months after police personnel come to my house and collected details,” said the retired central government employee.
Two elderly women residing on K.R. Koil Street were murdered on May, 2011. “Policemen in uniform and plainclothes have visited my house on five occasions, a few times in connection with the murder,” Mr. Sankaran added.
Police said senior citizens can also call 100 in case of any emergency.