Pune, India, Aug, 2020 -- Pune police’s senior citizen helpline number 1090 has received 838 calls over the past four months (April 1 to July 15) to seek counselling, help or even just casual chats.
The lockdown necessitated due to the Covid-19 infection, has been tough for many senior citizens in the city, whose population, the Pune police estimates to be around 19,000. Doctors have been stressing on senior citizens, above 65 years, as Covid-19 high-risk groups and with measures such as staying indoors and physical social distancing key to their health, the isolation has taken a toll on their mental well being, say senior citizens. This has led to many senior citizens relying on such helpline numbers to fight the loneliness.
"We have received over 838 calls from senior citizens between April 1 and July 15, of which 513 calls were simply because they want to talk to someone and spend some time fighting the loneliness," said assistant police inspector (API) Swati Kedar, who works for the Bharosa cell, where they have a dedicated number for senior citizens. The Pune police have identified and provided 18,050 photo identity cards to senior citizens in the city, each with the emergency number, blood group, and address.
The senior citizen helpline number 1090 has been buzzing since April with many of the senior citizens calling to seek household help, getting medicines, requesting for food delivery, medicines and aiding them with the bank or pension-related work, according to police officials. The police recently held a training session on emotional intelligence for all the staff at Bharosa Cell, to understand the psychology of the senior citizens during the pandemic.
"The police office call centre for old age people is a very good and noble initiative. When officers speak with affection with parental people their morale gets boosted, this definitely acts as an immuno booster and helps in fighting the present pandemic," said Dr Ravindra Chhajed , consulting physician and intensivist at Harsh hospital, Bibwewadi and Ruby hall Wanowrie.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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