Given the rise in instances of crime against the elderly, particularly those living alone, the city police have come up with an initiative, where youngsters could volunteer to ‘keep an eye’ on the senior citizen living alone in their area.
“We are planning to have young people volunteer to look after the elderly. By looking after we don’t mean taking their responsibility in a financial way but to go and interact with them from time to time and let them (elderly) know that they can call on these volunteers for help,” said Mira Ramnivas, additional CP, administration.According to Ramnivas, the deputy superintendents of police will be asked to hold meetings in areas regarding the same.
“We are looking for volunteers. Young men and women would take up the responsibility to interact with the elderly living in their area. Every volunteer will be assigned three to four elderly couple. The couples will get to interact with their respective volunteers at group meetings that the police plan to organise soon. Moreover, the police will get the details about the volunteers to know their background. The elderly couple can also refuse to have a volunteer if they are not comfortable,” said Ramnivas.She further said that the volunteers will regularly interact with the couple living alone to know who visits their house, the vendors who sell them wares and keep an eye on any strangers coming to call on the elderly. “The last few instances of attack on elderly couples have shown that many a time, the crime is perpetrated by people who knew that the couple were living alone and had at some point of time been at their house,” said Ramnivas.
At present, elderly couples living alone, go about their business and nobody bothers to keep an eye on them. With volunteers, the society members will have some inkling about what is happening with such couples.
Further, presence of such volunteers, who visit the elderly at regular intervals, will also discourage criminals, added Ramnivas.It should be noted that the city police have been collecting data on elderly couple living alone in the city. As per one estimate, there are around one lakh elderly couples, who live alone in Ahmedabad.