These days, a bunch of students from Wilson College, Charni Road has been spending a good chunk of time visiting senior citizens in South Mumbai to hand out personal invites to their college. Next week, students of second year bachelor of management course are organising a programme to sensitise the youth towards problems faced during old age.
The initiative, aptly titled ‘Inter-generational gap’, a special dedication to the elderly which will lay special emphasis on pre-empting crime against senior citizens, is expected to be attended by more than 200 senior citizens. A talent show, which will provide the elderly a platform to showcase their talents, is scheduled for the evening.
“We decided to work on this issue as statistics show an alarming rise in crimes against the elderly that leaves most of them feeling unsafe,” said Lakhan Solanki, who is part of the group. “We will try to find out from the seniors what we can do to help mitigate their apprehension and anxiety.”
The special evening is being organised in association with Silver Inning Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works for the elderly, and has the support and backing of the city police.
Akshay Malik, another student from the group, said they have also framed a questionnaire about security-related problems they face and why they hesitate to call the police for help. “We will share the information we collect with the police so they can take appropriate action,” said Malik.
Senior inspector of Gamdevi police station, Pradeep Lonandkar, lauded the move. “It’s a nice initiative. We will give the youngsters tips on how to go about handling matters,” said Lonandkar.
Emergency helpline launched
Architect Shalaka Lalwani, who runs a women’s self help group, Abhyan, has started a 24x7 helpline which you can call on in case of an emergency. You can call the helpline, Abhyan SOS, for situations such as medical emergencies, accidents, thefts, or in cases of crimes against women, children or senior citizens. At present, there is no integrated helpline service run by the government for citizens to access in case of emergencies.
Helpline numbers for registration: 18002667676 or 022 66300300.
You can also register via SMS by sending ‘Abhyan’ to 56263 or by visiting www.abhyansos.com.
Sion college opens door to senior citizens
The SIES college of Arts, Science and Commerce in Sion opened a community centre for senior citizens on Friday. The first of its kind initiative in the city will enable the elderly to use the premises for various activities after working hours. The college collaborated with Adhata Trust, a NGO which works for the welfare of senior citizens, to start the centre which will be free of cost for seniors after paying a nominal membership fee.
More than 150 senior citizens from the area registered themselves on the first day. Rajnikant Patwa, 70, a retired IIT-B professor said, “I want to learn computer skills so that I can network with people of my age.” His wife Sunita wants to acquaint herself with Facebook and added with a smile, “It is the most happening thing today.” Seniors will also get e-banking and cooking classes at the centre.