Kerala

Hotline to help senior citizens in distress

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Direct link to police stations for aged people living alone

The district police will soon launch a hotline facility for senior citizens living alone. It will connect their residence with the respective police station. The main feature of the facility is that the respective police station would be alerted within 15 seconds of the phone being lifted from its cradle.

District Superintendent of Police K.B. Venugopal told The Hindu on Saturday that there were quite a few senior citizens living alone, especially in the Thodupuzha and Karimannur areas, with their children employed abroad. With the hotline facility, they can get immediate police assistance, he said and added that it was not limited to crime but other issues such as medical emergency, etc.

A list of 671 senior citizens who are living alone in the 31 police station limits has been prepared. Of them, 31 who have BSNL land connection have agreed to install the facility.

The aim is to bring the entire district under its cover, he said and added that the only requirement for availing themselves of the facility was a BSNL land connection. The same phone can be used to make other calls too, he said. Such facility can be installed on mobile phone numbers too, under which the respective police station would be alerted on pressing number ‘1’.

The vulnerability of senior citizens living alone to theft and other related crimes prompted the police to introduce the scheme, he said adding that it could be introduced in the entire State.

A pilot project in this regard was introduced in Pala and was found successful.

The hotline has started functioning under the Thodupuzha, Kattappana and Munnar sub-division offices of the BSNL, Mr. Venugopal said. He said senior citizen desks are already functioning at police stations. Data on crime rate against senior citizens have shown a considerable fall since the help desk was introduced.

Over a 100 cases against attacks on senior citizen were reported last year.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:06:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hotline-to-help-senior-citizens-in-distress/article22920999.ece

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