The city police have come up with a new scheme for the safety of elderly citizens who live alone. Titled ‘Abhaya’, the initiative was inaugurated by Minister in-charge of Mysore district V. Srinivas Prasad here on Saturday.

As many as 822 houses were identified by the police during a survey on the number of old people living alone, following the recent twin murder of senior citizens. The programme is on the lines of Aasare, a programme launched in coastal districts for senior citizens.

“Mysore is home to many pensioners and the sons and daughters of many senior citizens live abroad. Some of these citizens live alone without security. They must get protection against crimes so that they spend their life safely,” Mr. Prasad said.

The Minister said he would discuss with the Home Minister on whether ‘Abhaya’ could be extended across the State. Tanveer Sait, MLA, suggested that a helpline should be launched for the senior citizens here. As per the scheme, the police would identify senior citizens staying alone as well as elderly couples and make arrangements for their protection, including visits by beat police.

Point books will be kept at the houses of senior citizens and police personnel will visit them daily and make entries.

The inspector of the respective police stations will counsel those who neglect and do not treat older people well.

If senior citizens were troubled by neighbours or others in the localities, the police will intervene and resolve their difficulties, according to the police.

The police personnel will make efforts to shift senior citizens with the help of neighbours to the nearest hospitals in case of any health emergency.

In case of a request from the senior citizen covered under Abhaya, the Community Police Officer (of the area where the senior citizens' house is located) under 'Namma Mane' Police programme would collect money from the citizens, who are unable to move out of their house, to pay power and water bills.

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