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From Selfies to Home Visits – How Delhi & Pune Police Are Helping the Elderly

Police officials in Pune and Delhi are taking many different steps to ensure the safety of senior citizens, and to make sure that the elderly get a chance to speak about the problems and issues they are facing. The police has also resolved to take up these issues and find solutions for them, as soon as possible. 

With the view increasing the safety of senior citizens, policemen in Pune will now visit their homes once every fortnight, to resolve their problems.


Photo Credit: Espen Klem/Flickr

All police stations in the city have received directions to initiate this step. The announcement about the same was made by city police commissioner K K Pathak, on Friday, in a meeting with 100 senior citizens at the Pune police commissionerate. This meeting was held following the recent murder of an 86-year-old senior citizen in Vimannagar.

According to the commissioner, they have selected nodal officers at police stations who will interact with senior citizens in their area at regular intervals. The officers will hold meetings with them, understand their problems and try to resolve them as soon as possible.

“The nodal officer would be a sub-inspector or assistant inspector, who will be given assistance of four policemen or more, depending on the manpower availability at the police stations,” deputy commissioner of police (crime) P R Patil told The Times of India.

Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have over four lakh senior citizens, and there are 370 NGOs and social service organizations run by senior citizens. About 3,000 such people are registered with the police under a scheme which was launched in the city asking senior citizens to register with the nearest police station for their security. According to a 2013 report, 940 senior citizens were staying alone while 2,646 were living with their family members.

K K Pathak informed they will reach out to more senior citizens in collaboration with different NGOs, and will soon issue identity cards for those who are registered with the police. The ID card will include name, age, address, phone number, and blood group among other details. The entire operation will be supervised by the social security cell of the crime branch of Pune police.

In the first meeting, the elderly raised problems related to parking, non-availability of benches in public gardens and more. The police department will work to resolve these issues along with Pune Municipal Corporation and other agencies.

A similar step was initiated by the Vasant Vihar police station of Delhi in September this year. There, the police began by taking selfies with the elderly and interacting with them. The police station now has designated ‘Senior Citizen Welfare Officers’, and they have 200 senior citizens under their watch. Since Sep. 22, police officials in the region have been visiting 20-25 senior citizens every day, with the view of increasing friendship with them, and gaining their trust so they can share their problems with the police.

“Every time we take a selfie, it creates a bond between us. The bond is so strong that they treat me like their substitute son. It’s as if I’m filling in for their children who live away. Some have an ongoing property dispute and seek legal advice while for others their monthly chores require attention,” a policeman who has taken 180 selfies with residents, told TOI.

The elderly citizens have appreciated this effort, saying the policemen are ready to help them with many different issues like withdrawing money from the bank, boarding an auto, employing a trustworthy household help etc.

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