The Telegraph
Thursday, December 14, 2017

New dept plan for senior citizens

- Aim to address economic, social and geriatric problems
First published on 26-Apr-2015
The elderly people at the police-senior citizen meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee

Bhubaneswar, April 25: The state government is planning to open a separate department for senior citizens to look into the issues faced by them and provide them better amenities.

Speaking to the senior citizens, who had gathered at Jayadev Bhavan as part of a police-senior citizen interface, law minister Arun Sahoo said the state government had already started working towards opening a new department for them.

The senior citizens had been demanding a separate department for them such as the one dedicated for women and children. They were also demanding formulation of a senior citizen policy.

Sources said creating a separate department for the elderly people and formulating a new policy can address their economic, social and geriatric problems.

"With the disintegrating of joint families, more elderly people have now been forced to live alone and far away from their children," said the minister.

"The major problems they face are safety and loneliness. To address these problems, the state government is working on a special department," said Sahoo, adding that a help line number would be made operational for the senior citizens.

Over 500 elderly people attended the meeting and they discussed their problems with senior police officials, including police commissioner R.P. Sharma and deputy commissioner Satyabrata Bhoi.

Senior citizen cells are in operational at 15 police stations across the city, and the officers in charge of the cell regularly visit these people and try to solve their problems, said Sharma.

In 2013, there were only 470 senior citizens enrolled in the cell and in 2014-15, the number has gone up to 1,568, he said.

"The senior citizens shared their problems with us, and we assured them of doing our best to solve their problems. Our main aim is to provide them security and ensure their safety. We want them to trust the police - which will help us keep them safe," said Sharma.

"This is a nice programme, and it helped us to come together and voice our concerns. We hope the officials will help us in resolving our problems," said Braja Kishore Pattnaik, an IRC village resident, 64. Pattnaik alleged that his tenant had been harassing him for long. The police have assured him of taking appropriate action.

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