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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don’t insult your servants, be good to neighbours: Guidelines for Senior Citizens

In the wake of increasing number of attacks on senior citizens in their homes, the Mumbai police have come up with a registration form to keep a tab on their servants and other frequent visitors.

The police want the senior citizens to fill in the registration form giving details of not just servants but also persons like milkmen, washer men, electricians, masons, cable operators and plumbers.

The form also asks senior citizens to put an alarm in their neighbours’ houses so that they can be contacted during emergencies. It also says that they should periodically raise the salaries of their servants and never insult them.

The police have asked NGOs for help as senior citizens are often wary of those in uniform and do not share information freely. The new form prepared with the help of an NGO, working for the elderly, is part of a drive to create a database entailing all details of around two lakh senior citizens living on their own in the city. The database would come in handy for the police not only in detecting crimes against the elderly but also to help prevent such incidents.

K L Prasad, joint commissioner of police (law and order), said, “Most of the crimes against the elderly residents are committed by people known to them. And it’s not just servants. We’ve come across cases where painters and masons have murdered the elderly occupants of a house. Thus, with the help NGOs, we are preparing a database of such people who regularly visit senior citizens’ houses.”

Prasad suggested that alarms in the neighbours’ houses and CCTV cameras will help prevent crimes against the elderly. “Your neighbour can be your saviour. In times of emergency, you can just push a button and they will come to your help. Also, never insult your servant. There have been cases where servants have murdered their employers out of vengeance,” said Prasad.

While nearly 3,500 senior citizens are currently registered with the Mumbai police’s helpline for the elderly residents, the police have plans reach out to the rest.

Dos and Don’ts

• Be vigilant in case of courier/delivery boys, ask your domestic help to take the deliveries

• Insist on proper identification and contact details of repairmen, milkmen, plumbers, cable operators etc.

• Get household repairs and fittings done through a reputed contractor or agency or through known persons.

• Keep the light at the front door switched on at night so that you can identify visitors

• Maintain cordial relationship with your neighbours

• Always be on the lookout for unfamiliar vehicles, taxis, rickshaws, two-wheelers that are parked at your society premises

Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article§id=2&contentid=200809172008091703253936091a4156b&pageno=1#

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