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Friday, May 20, 2011

Support for our Elders “1298” Senior Citizens Referral Helpline Mumbai

India is gradually undergoing a demographic change. With decline in fertility and mortality rates accompanied by an improvement in child survival and increased life expectancy, a significant feature of demographic change is the progressive increase in the number of elderly persons. As on 2010 an estimated 8% population i.e. 96 million people of the total population of India are Senior Citizens above age group of 60 years, of which over 1.5 million resides in Mumbai. Presently India has the 2nd largest population of Senior Citizens in the globe. According to UN by 2050 the population of 60 plus in India would likely go up to 20%.

The now fading joint family system and the Indian cultural values that preached reverence and service towards the elders had served a protective and secure net for the elderly. The advent of nuclear families and other factors like children migrating to cities or abroad for better career opportunities have brought out a range of issues like insecurity, loneliness and lack of companionship leaving the elders more vulnerable in their twilight years. Coping with old age is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in cities like Mumbai. Sadly young people now see senior citizens as a burden. The respect they once enjoyed in the joint family is slowly disappearing. The changed scenario has given rise to three major needs: social, health and financial security of Elderly.

For the net savvy individuals there are many networking sites and online portals to connect to people across the globe. At the same time, for many senior citizens in the city just a phone call to someone to listen to them when they are in distressed or feeling lonely is sufficient.

Only government servants are entitled to pension. This means that literally 70 per cent of the Indian population gets no pension, not even those who have worked in the corporate sector for 30 to 40 years. Most senior citizens are in unorganized sector and are either on their children’s or dependent on their savings or their provident fund and gratuity, whose value is shrinking by the day.

Elder Abuse / Crimes against senior citizens where they have been specifically targeted due to their helplessness have been on the increase in Mumbai. In most cases, the crime is committed by relatives or their own children. There has been an increase in violence against senior citizens by domestic help also.

To address issues related to senior citizens in Mumbai and to provide them relief, The Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust through MP Priya Dutt along with Dial ‘1298’ for Ambulance in association with Silver Inning Foundation, Help Age India , Harmony for Silvers Foundation & FESCOM launched a 24 x 7 Senior Citizen’s Referral Helpline.

The launch function was held on 10th May 2010 which was attended by Chief Guest Asha Parikh along with the guest of Honor D. Sivanandan, Ms Priya Dutt, Honorable Member of Parliament and Ms Sweta Mangal , CEO of Dial ‘1298’ for Ambulance service. The ‘1298’ Senior Citizen’s Helpline is working closely with prominent NGOs dealing with elderly citizens to act as a bridge between them. Any senior citizen requiring assistance can dial ‘1298’ from a landline or mobile which will connect them to a counselor who is available 24 x 7 to assist them and resolve their queries.

Nature of calls

Most of the calls are related to Senior Citizens who have been harassed by their family members/ friends. Many cases are specifically related to legal and property maintenances.The above Graph shows the call trends.

Number of referral NGO’s
Our calls are referred to following NGO’s:
1. Help Age India
2. Silver Inning Foundation
3. ‘1090’ Police Helpline
4. Dignity Foundation
5. AISCON : All India Senior Citizens Confederation
6. FESCOM: The Federation of Senior Citizens Organizations of Maharashtra
7. Harmony
8. Majlis
9. Lawyers Collective
10. Jeevan Dai Community Centre
11. Old Age Homes
12. Anand Rehabilitation Centre
13. BMC(Municipal corporation) Helpline
14. Moneylife Foundation
15. Sevasadan
16. Special Cell for Women and children

Case Studies:

Deserted Senior Citizen rescued
One unknown lady from Bandra called at 1298 and share that she had seen one senior citizen staying on road since last 4 day. When that lady called it was raining heavily in Mumbai. 1298 Counsellor understood the problem and transfered the call to 1090 Police Helpline, immediately 1090 Police van arrived within 15 minutes at the location and took that lady to the Hospital and saved her life. The unknown lady who called for help called us again to convey her gratitude.

Home for Aged
A senior citizen called at 1298 Senior Citizen’s Helpline to seek information regarding Old Age Homes in Mumbai. He was retired and living on monthly pension. His children were not looking after him so he wanted to stay at an old age home. After understanding the caller’s need, 1298 counselor gave him the various options for old age home to suit his preference. When the counselor made a follow up call she came to know that the person called few Old Age Homes in Mumbai but the matter didn’t materialize due to unavoidable reasons like cost factor and unavailability of rooms. But due to our consistent efforts he got staying arrangements at Manav Seva Sangh Vriddha Ashram in Virar. Our timely intervention was appreciated by the caller.

Legal Help for Senior Citizens

A senior citizen named Geeta (named changed) called up at ‘1298’ Senior Citizen’s Helpline to discuss her problem related to a legal matter. Geeta stays in Bandra but has an alternate house in her name in Vasai. She wanted to sale her house in Vasai but her brother in-law is troubling and not letting her to do the needful and claiming that the house belongs to him and his family. Our counselor directed Geeta to a private advocate for assistance. Geeta also visited sub-registrar’s office and sought guidance.

Elder Abuse
6 months ago, a 70 years old woman named Dakshaben (name changed) called Dial ‘1298’ Senior Citizens Helpline. Since Dakshaben was residing at Mira Road at that course of time we referred her Silver Inning Foundation (SIF) to her. Dakshaben called the in charge at Silver Innings Day Center and visited them and discussed her family problem in detail.
Silver Inning Foundation found that Dakshaben is a widow and retired from Indian Navy. She has two sons, Dakshaben stays with her younger son and her elder son stays in Borivali. She had no financial problem as she gets monthly pension. Her problem lies in the relationship with her younger son’s family which has been staying with her since five years (her husband’s death). Dakshaben complained of the neglect and mental torture by her son and daughter in law. The initial help from NGOs, Mahila Samiti and local police didn’t lead to any success as the problems kept piling. Another problem was that Dakshaben was not very socially active, her day passed by being home most of the time. It was noticed that the problem of conflict between the family members was mostly in the evening and early morning when her son and his wife were at home after work. The staff tried to make peace with the family but Dakshben wanted the legal action. The staff explained her about the lengthy and costly judicial system. She was also told that as Maintenance of Senior Citizens and Parents Act is not in place in Maharashtra there was less chance of getting justice immediately. But she insisted to file a police complain so the staff arranged a meeting with Sr. Police Inspector. On the advice of police officer she filed a complaint which she withdrew in a day as she did not want her son and his family to be behind the bars. Under such a tricky situation Silver Inning's staff designed a plan to make Dakshaben active and involve her with Silver Inning’s weekly program. She was also encouraged to spend time with her friends and meditate. Within a month and after many sessions of counseling Dakshaben started attending and participating in weekly programs. Along with this she started attending Vipasana sessions at Igatpuri. She was actively involved in the awareness skit at ‘UMANG’ talent show of Elderly by Silver Innings. She was one of the star performers of the ‘UMANG’ 2010. Dakshaben is spending her idle time more productively and pays less attention to family problems. The smile on her face motivates us to reach out to more senior citizens.

Distress Call
The Project Coordinator received a call from an unknown person who wanted to help an elderly couple Asha and Gopal (named changed) seeking help to rehabilitate them. Gopal who has not been keeping well off lately with one leg amputated and was on liquid diet. Since they didn’t have any children or relatives to take care of Gopal, the neighbors decided to rehabilitate Asha’s husband to an old age home where his health could be taken care off. Our coordinator contacted Jivan Adhar Seva Sanstha (working for homeless people) who agreed to put Gopal to OAH. When the staff came to pick up Gopal, he refused to leave as he didn’t want to leave his wife alone. After lot of pursual it was decided that a person from OAH will come daily to take care of Gopal. After a week we got to know that Gopal passed away at his home. Asha called 1298 to express the gratitude for our help and understanding late Gopal’s wish.

Professional Care Taker

Sometime back ‘1298’ Senior Citizen’s Helpline received a call from a man who wanted to seek guidance for his friend (Ashok) who wasn’t in good shape. Ashok (named changed) of 75 years old was unable to do any work as his physical health didn’t allow much at the same time his family also couldn’t do much to help him because of their own work. Ashok wanted to seek details of bureaus in Mumbai. Our counselor not only helped Ashok in understanding his case but also connected him with 2-3 bureaus in nearby locality. In Ashok is now happy and relieved as he got help from Bina Nursing Home.

About Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust (NDMCT):

The Nargis Dutt Memorial Charitable Trust (NDMCT) was founded by the (Late) Padmashri Sunil Dutt in memory of his wife (Late) Smt. Nargis Dutt, with a prime objective of funding and helping patients suffering from cancer for whom good and timely medical treatment was a distant dream.Mr. Sunil Dutt worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure that the Foundation undertook various fund raising drives, the proceeds of which were used to buy life saving diagnostic medical equipment, medicines, transfer of Technology and various other materials which were sent to specialized cancer hospitals across India for the benefit of patients being treated there. In the area of health- care NDMCT arranges medical camps and provides medical aid to the poor and needy. For the victims of Bihar Flood (in 2008) NDMCT organized a month long medical camp which treated nearly 30,000 families. NDMCT’s recent activity has been the “Platelet Donation Drive “at Tata Memorial Hospital. NDMCT has now diversified to the field of education as well, wherein we provide vocational training (like computer courses, adult literacy classes) and sponsorship fees to the students who are eager to study and learn. NDMCT has also partnered with FLY – Future Lies in iur Youth to prevent suicides among the student community.

About Dial 1298 for Ambulance:-
Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL) operates the Emergency Medical Response (Ambulance) Services : “Dial 1298 for Ambulance”: This model works on principle of cross subsidy wherein the Ambulances are owned by the ZHL and are made self sustainable by charging the end user a charge which differ basis on the choice of the destination Dial 1298 for Ambulance, is an initiative started by a group of young professionals with a high degree of social and public commitment with the primary objective of rolling out a nationwide network of Life Support Ambulance Service accessible to anyone, anytime and anywhere through an easy to remember four digit telephone number. The project has been setup in association with Lohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifndon Ambulance Service, a UK Government Agency, which has provided the processes, systems, protocols, training and project implementation assistance to 1298. “Dial 1298 for Ambulance” is an initiative to provide a network of Fully Equipped Advanced and Basic Life Support Ambulances 24 hours x 7 days a week.
For more information visit www.zhl.org.in

About our Associates

About Silver Inning Foundation
Silver Inning Foundation is registered NGO dedicated for the cause of Senior Citizens. It is part of social enterprise Silver Innings which hosts one of the most comprehensive and dedicated website for elderly &their family www.silverinnigs.com . Silver Innings is working towards creating Elder Friendly World where Ageing becomes a Positive and Rewarding Experience.

About Help Age India
HelpAge India is a national level secular, non-political, non-profit and non-government organization working for the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons. We endeavor to improve their quality of life and have been doing so for the last 31 years. The cause of the elderly needs attention because we are a society in transition with changing values, which has led to the breakdown of the joint family, resulting in lack of security for the elderly. We voice the needs of India’s 90 million (current estimate)“grey” population, and directly impact the lives of lakhs of elders through our services every year. Website: http://www.helpageindia.org/

The Federation of Senior Citizens Organizations' of Maharashtra ,Unifying and strengthening the comprehensive welfare activities of senior citizen and their organizations under one banner and leadership, and utilizing their precious knowledge, wide experience, wisdom, energy and skill for welfare of the society in general and Senior Citizen in particular. Website: http://www.fescom-for-sr-citizens.org.in/

About The Harmony for Silvers Foundation:
The Harmony for Silvers Foundation is a non-government organization working to improve quality of life for everyone as they age. Harmony for Silvers Foundahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giftion is a social initiative espouses the cause of promoting the interests of senior citizens in the country. The initiative has a three-tiered approach. We have set up our first Harmony Interactive Centre for Silvers Citizens in Girgaum, Thakurdwar. In addition we also run a magazine Harmony- Celebrate Age and a website-portal for Silver Citizens .Website: www.harmonyindia.org

For more info you can contact us at 1298helplinemumbai@gmail.com ; silverinnings@gmail.com


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shri seo said...

Thank you for this usefull information
Really helpful
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Lawrance Fernandes said...

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Jackie O'Brien said...

Very interesting to hear a perspective on assisted living and home care in a different country. I provide assisted living in NH, and while I think we have our troubles with senior care services in the US, some organizations such as ours are doing a wonderful job, putting the needs of seniors before anything else.

Thanks for sharing your insight.

Social work for elderly said...

The poor monetary circumstance, lack of affordable health care as well as common disregard by society is the reason behind the launch of HelpAge India, a leading nonprofit organization to help poor elderly. You can also call HelpAge India at toll free Helpline number 1800-180-1253 or also can donate Online to help poor elderly via HelpAge India

RK said...

Hello I need help for my parents as they are getting Mental Tourcherd by my younger brothers wife I have also taken out some videos to help my parents in not sure if that would really help but I need some assistance can I get a number of a lawyer who can please help my parents they are Senior Citizens and are scared to take any actions please call me on 9004994086 we reside at Mira Road

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