Hailakandi: To cheer up senior citizens above age of 70 that include retired professors, Army men whose children are out of the district pursuing livelihoods, a team from the district administration went on a social call-on. With the ongoing nationwide lockdown bringing sudden, overwhelming challenges to the lives of the elderly in the district, the administration has stepped in to provide emotional and other support.
Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli personally spoke to them on WhatsApp video call checking on their status of health and well being, and for other requirements. The visit greatly cheered the septuagenarians and octogenarians.
Block Accountant, Sarba Siksha Abhiyan, Hailakandi, Shankar Choudhury who visited some of the houses of elderly at the direction of the Deputy Commissioner, said, “They were elated when Deputy Commissioner Madam exchanged pleasantries with them over video call and inquired about their health condition and well being and other requirements.”
Circle Officer (A), Soma Roy also dropped in to inquire about their well being and any support they require from the administration during the lockdown. Deputy Commissioner Jalli said her administration is reaching out to the elderly above 70 years, who have remained mostly confined within the four walls of their rooms for over a month during the ongoing lockdown to ‘cheer them up and to enliven their spirits’. The administration also helped the elderly, who could not step out of their homes due to lockdown, by procuring medicines and other essential items for them.
“We are in touch with the elderly and also assigned a few officers to call them every day. The idea is to keep everyone’s spirits high and ensure everyone is fine,” said Jalli. Octogenarian Manash Kanti Das said, “I express my gratitude to the Deputy Commissioner for her deep concern for elderly persons like us in these uncertain times when loneliness and isolation can be debilitating for the elderly.”
The district police have also stepped in to help senior citizens in their hour of distress. They have sought the help of the district information and public relations office (DIPRO) to identify the homes of elderly people, whom they contacted for delivering of essentials at their doorsteps. The elderly residents said they had been receiving calls from the DIPRO asking about their health and well being. Veteran journalist, Santosh Kumar Mazumder said, “I am very happy that DIPRO came to meet me personally and inquired about my health and well being and requirements that I need in view of the lockdown.”
“Besides the civil and police administrations, I hope more and more people and NGOs will also show compassion and empathy towards elders, as they are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic and to stay connected with them in the age of technology through smartphones and social networks,” said Sabir Nishat, DIPRO, Hailakandi.
Superintendent of Police, Pabindra Kumar Nath said the police officials are on the job providing assistance to senior citizens in procuring medicines and delivering essentials at their doorsteps in police vehicles. The police here is also arranging medicines not found in Hailakandi and Silchar from Guwahati about 312 kms away. “We are reaching out to senior citizens and elderly in distress during the lockdown necessitated by coronavirus pandemic. We are prepared to take them out of homes to hospitals in case of emergency,” said Nath. Nath said helpline numbers have been given to the public for assisting aged citizens plagued with problems while staying indoors during the lockdown.