The need to extend Central assistance to senior citizens, who have been affected by last month's unprecedented hail storm, has been stressed by the Kattabettu-based Nilgiri Senior Citizens Trust.

In a memorandum sent to Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, managing trustee of the Trust B.Kamala Seeralan pointed out that many of those hit by the natural calamity, which occurred at Kenthorai, Kappachi and Thummanatty villages of Ooty taluk, were senior citizens cultivating tea on land holdings which extended over one fourth of an acre to five acres.

It was their only source of livelihood. The hail stones had severely damaged both the tender leaves and the mother leaves. It would take at least six months for the tea bushes to recover. Adverting to an inspection of the affected tea gardens carried out recently by Executive Director (South),Tea Board  R.Ambalavanan, he expressed the hoped that appropriate action would be taken on the report submitted by him to the Board.