ElderLine – A Mumbai Police Initiative for Senior Citizens

 

Senior Citizens are perhaps the most vulnerable members of society and unfortunately, the city of Mumbai is not the safest place for the elderly who live on their own. Some buildings do not even have watchmen or CCTVs which makes it easier for criminals to attack and rob Senior Citizens.

 

Most burglars take their time as they look around the neighbourhood. They keep an eye on residents and learn their routines while either befriending or figuring out a way to sneak into a building.

 

Senior Citizens who stay alone are easy targets for burglars who break into their homes and steal jewellery and other expensive articles and valuables.  Some burglars are tipped off by domestic help, sweepers and even the watchmen who inform them about the houses that are either empty or occupied by a vulnerable Senior Citizen. Sometimes the burglars rob more than one house in a day.

 

The Police Department has intensified nakabandis and increased night patrolling to prevent or catch criminals. But the police cannot be at all places at all times so it is imperative that citizens take some precautionary steps to keep their valuables safe and prevent theft.

 

First and foremost, CCTVs must be installed all around the building. Citizens should inform their neighbours if they intend to be away for a week or more. This way there will be an extra pair of eyes keeping watch on your home. Avoid keeping expensive valuables like jewellery in your home.  Keep your jewellery in a bank to ensure its safety.

 

Citizens can also go to the local police station and request them to make visits to their Society and interact with the security guards.  It is important that the security guard maintains a register to keep a record of who enters the building society. Unnecessary conversations with strangers should be avoided and do not allow strangers into your house without knowing their credentials. Make use of the peephole at your door before opening the door and open the door only if you recognize the visitor.

 

One cannot escape the fact that Senior Citizens are at a much greater risk today than even before. After all, a worrying number of the elderly live on their own. Abandoned by their uncaring families, they are left completely helpless in crisis and extremely vulnerable to criminal elements, health problems and depression.

 

But now they will have a family of their own again; a family of thousands called ElderLine. All they have to do is call the toll free number 1090.

ElderLine is a mega-network of individuals and organizations who volunteer their services for catering to the needs of Senior Citizens. The scheme works under the supervision of Mumbai Police and functions through Mumbai Police Infoline – 1090.

 

The Protective Circle:

Through this momentous initiative the Mumbai Police brings together volunteer doctors, clinics, hospitals, counsellors, social workers, ordinary citizens, police personnel and the best of technology to aid of the elderly. Absolutely any able and compassionate individual or organisation can become a volunteer.

 

Every volunteer will go through a simple interview and complete background check, and then given a special identity card. Volunteers will be allowed to decide days and times when they’ll be available. Even if they are busy at a particular moment, all they will have to do is inform Elderline. The Police will also coordinate the efforts of different departments and organizations.

 

In case of medical emergencies, aid shall be provided through various NGOs, hospitals, and doctors on the rolls of ElderLine. Many of them promise reduced charges and preferential care as well.  For harassment, domestic violence, medical problem, security concerns, counselling, legal issues, etc, the requirement will be noted and forwarded to a verified volunteer from the concerned area. He will meet the member at the earliest, attend to his needs or guide him to the correct person/organization. Infoline shall follow-up.

 

In case of non-availability of volunteers or in emergencies, local police station mobile will be dispatched to look into the matter at the earliest.

 

Beck and Call:

ElderLine is equipped with an advanced GPS-based tracking and dispatch system. So the minute a person calls 1090, his/her exact location is accurately revealed on our screens. Similarly, it also helps the Police track, contact and dispatch appropriate volunteers or, if the need be, a police mobile immediately. ElderLine maintains a large database of volunteers so that there is always one ready to go. In case no volunteers are available, police personnel are dispatched instantly. All this is to ensure that the Police reach people faster, and help them better.

 

Registration Details:

  • To register as a senior citizen, or as an ElderLine doctor, nurse, counsellor, psychologist, clinic, hospital, organisation or simply a caring volunteer, all you have to do is fill a simple form.
  • Registration forms are available on the Mumbai Police website here. Forms are also available at all police stations and with various non-profit organisations.
  • Senior Citizens may directly call 1090 to register themselves.

 

Senior Citizens can call ElderLine:

  • When they urgently require the help of medical professionals.
  • When they face situations that involve physical violence or pose a risk to their lives.
  • Senior Citizens may directly call 1090 to register themselves.

 

The following are a few frequently asked questions about Elderline:

1)       Who are the partners in the scheme?

Apart from individual volunteers, organizations, doctors, hospitals who form the back-bone of the scheme, ElderLine, an initiative of Mumbai Police works in association with its media partners The Times of India and technology partners Spanco Tele Systems.

 

2)       Who all can register in the scheme?

If you are 60 or above and living without an extended family, you can have one now. Become a member and avail a support system created with your needs in mind. To register as a part of voluntary network, you could be an organization or an individual, hospital, nursing home, legal expert, student, professional, home maker – anybody with conviction in the cause.

 

3)       How can one register?

  • Simply log on to Mumbai police web-site here, follow the link and register yourself.
  • Registration forms are available with all the police stations and certain NGOs. Fill up the form, hand it over to the nearest police station or send by post at the address of “The ElderLine, Office of the Commissioner of Police, Crawford Market, Mumbai”.
  • Senior Citizens may directly ring 1090, and provide the details.

 

4)       How will I, a Volunteer know that I am required to attend to some Senior Citizens?

No sooner ElderLine receives a call from the Infoline, their state of the art GIS/GPS system will get the exact location of the caller. The software will find out the most suitable volunteer. The agent handling the call will make a call to the volunteer; find out his availability and SMS him the address of the Senior Citizen.

 

5)       If I once register as a Volunteer, am I obliged to take every call?

Absolutely not. ElderLine respects your time and prior commitments. During the registration process itself, you can indicate your availability. They will approach you only during the timings of your choice. In the eventuality of your not being available during the indicated time, you can always indicate your unavailability by pressing appropriate button on your mobile phone.

 

6)       What happens if a Volunteer cannot go?

If one Volunteer is unable to take the call because of any reason, another volunteer of the same area is approached. If two volunteers refuse or it is an emergency, a police mobile is rushed into service.

 

7)      Can a Senior Citizen call during medical emergencies?

Yes. ElderLine propose to have a list of volunteer doctors, ambulances and hospitals. We will direct the available help to the Senior Citizen immediately.

 

8)       What if a Senior Citizen wants appointment with a doctor or counsellor?

Many doctors and hospitals are associated with ElderLine. Most of them promise reduced fee and other considerations.

 

9)       What about the scrutiny of Volunteers?

No person will be registered as a Volunteer without first being verified by the Police. They will issue every Volunteer an identity card. Since they will have complete details of the Volunteers, you may be rest assured that the volunteers are verified.

 

10)   Once registered, can I get my name removed from the list of volunteers?

Yes. Just call 1090 and request for the same.

 

11)   Can I send some financial assistance to the scheme?

There is no provision for it. They will greatly appreciate your contribution as volunteer. However, if you want to help the scheme in any other way, please write to the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai.

 

Senior Citizens deserve the utmost respect and by taking the rights steps the elderly can be looked after and kept safe.

 

Source: This information has been obtained from the website of the Mumbai Police https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in

 

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