Chennai

Volunteers help senior citizens stuck at home, deliver essentials to their doorstep

A WhatsApp group sees requests pour in

For senior citizens living by themselves and hesitant to step outdoors owing to concerns regarding COVID-19, a group of volunteers has come together to offer assistance.

Bhuvana Seshan, a singer, put out a Facebook post on Sunday evening, asking if people would be interested in helping senior citizens purchase groceries and other essentials. “Several people came forward and said that they would be ready to volunteer and help out senior citizens in their areas. We have created a WhatsApp group for better coordination and have been sending out messages with the numbers of our volunteers on social media so that they can be contacted,” she explained.

A volunteer is assigned based on the area the senior citizen is from, and the former takes down the list of groceries, accepts payment and delivers the essentials.

Keeping in mind the importance of social distancing, Ms. Bhuvana said that all the volunteers have been instructed to drop off the groceries at the doorstep of the senior citizens as well as follow adequate precautions by way of wearing masks, gloves and using hand sanitiser.

Advaith Shivram, a Class XII student who is volunteering in Valasaravakkam, said that on being contacted, he asks the senior citizen for the list of essentials needed and takes the money for the same.

“We do the shopping for them and leave it at their homes. We have got several requests from elderly couples and senior citizens who are living by themselves to help them stock up groceries and medicines,” he said.

A resident of Kolathur, Priscilda Nancy, who has also volunteered, said that she helped arrange breakfast for an elderly couple living alone on Monday morning. “Another senior citizen wanted us to help her buy groceries, coffee powder, milk and a few other essentials.”

The volunteer group is also focusing on arranging food packets for senior citizens who might need them in the coming weeks. “Many senior citizens get meals delivered to their houses through specific providers and if these services are not available during the curfew, we can help them with this as well,” she said.

Senior citizens who need assistance can reach out to these volunteers — Advaith 7358516184, Nancy 8925404028, Sekar 9840047101, Siva Ramesh 9840242929.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:30:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/volunteers-help-senior-citizens-stuck-at-home-deliver-essentials-to-their-doorstep/article31147092.ece

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