Staff Reporter

Police Commissioner urges people to come forward and adopt the scheme

Only 140 people have registered their names since October 2005 The scheme was launched as a measure to tackle security threat to elderly citizens

BANGALORE: Commissioner of Police Ajai Kumar Singh on Monday said there was poor response to the Concerned Neighbourhood Scheme,that was devised to involve neighbours in providing security to senior citizens staying alone.

Responding to questions about the need to provide security to elderly persons, Mr. Singh said that not many neighbours have come forward to help senior citizens living by themselves. Since October 2005 only 140 people have registered their names.

"More people should come forward and adopt the scheme," he said.

The city police, in association with the Nightingales Medical Trust that runs the Elders Helpline, had initiated the scheme as one of the measures to tackle the security threat to elderly citizens.

According to the scheme, the police and the Trust were to prepare a list of senior citizens living alone and have a BSNL telephone connection.

Then the nearest neighbours interested in the care of such elderly people are approached.

If they express interest, the Elders' Helpline would take down their names and telephone numbers.

In case of any trouble, the senior citizen has to lift the telephone receiver and keep it off the hook for 20 seconds. Once the receiver is off the hook, the police control room will get an alert message.

The police will establish the identity of the caller through their computerised database and alert the neighbour concerned before passing a message to nearest police station or patrol squad to rush to the distressed person's help.

The details of the facility are available on the toll-free Elders' Helpline phone number 1090.

Earlier, at the inauguration of pension helpdesk scheme, the Police Commissioner expressed the inability of the police to deploy security personnel for elderly persons.

"We can provide security for a day or two but not on a permanent basis," he said.

Some of the elderly persons urged the Police Commissioner to provide security to senior citizens, who are staying alone.

He asked them to take recourse to the Concerned Neighbourhood Scheme.