Bhopal, India, May 3, 2023 - The power to be heard with compassion is a way to enrich lives of the elderly, said Professor Alok Kumar Chakrawal on the sideline of a conference.
"Moving beyond medical care for elderly, a volunteer-based approach has been introduced in a project dubbed ‘Shravan Line’. The aim is to empower elderly to take charge and improve the quality of their lives," said Chakrawal, who is the vice-chancellor of Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya (GGU), a central university. The elderly helpline is overseen by the university’s department of social work and in association with other NGOs and agencies.
The 650-acre campus for now, services calls from those living within 5-km of the Bilaspur campus. Three days after the project’s launch, 60-elderly were on the registry. There is incentive for the social work students too. Included in the curriculum, getting trained to provide an ear to elderly, gains two credits for the student. Another avenue of human resources are volunteers.
"Social isolation and loneliness can be one of the reasons for health issues in elderly. Just being heard can have a positive impact on the health of senior citizens," said Chakrawal.
"Some of the calls we receive are often not for direct help. You can hear a smile, once you listen to an elderly with care," he added. Under this scheme are included services to the elderly attending to their health needs, technical cooperation, providing information about government and public sector services and schemes.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, May 4, 2023
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