Kerala police reaching out to the elderly amid lockdown

Kerala police and other govt agencies reaching out to the elderly amid lockdown

While Kerala has a high NRI population, a major social issue posed by it is aged parents staying alone back in Kerala

Representative image (iStock Photo)

As Kerala announced lockdown from Monday evening, one section that might face a total isolation is the aged population of the state, which is around 45 lakhs. Realising this, various government agencies like the police and the social justice department are now reaching out to the elderly population.

While Kerala has a high NRI population, a major social issue posed by it is aged parents staying alone back in Kerala, many of them fully dependent on service of maids for their daily needs. But with the total lockdown, maids are also forced to stop their services owing to health risks and unavailability of public transport services.

The Kerala police's community policing wing, known as the 'Janamaithiri police' and the Kerala Social Justice department are chipping in at this situation. While the community police officers of each locality are reaching out to the houses were aged people stay, the Social Justice department directed the Anganwadi workers to reach out to the families to ensure their health and welfare.

IG S Sreejith, who heads the community policing, said that as soon as the Covid-19 alerts were issued and aged people were advised to stay indoors, the community policing officials of all police stations were asked to collect contact of aged people in their respective areas and get in touch with them.

"Since personal visit of police persons may cause inconvenience to the aged and to avoid the risks of spreading infection, the police personnel are opting telephonic enquiry and even video calls to enquire about the welfare. Even basic needs like supply of medicines and other emergency needs were being met by the police," he said.

Kerala Social Justice secretary Biju Prabhakar said that a special programme called 'Anganwadis to Families' was launched as soon as the Covid-19 alerts were sounded by the government. The Anganwadi workers were asked to get in touch with all households in their locality and enquire about welfare of the people, especially the aged, children and women.

The Kerala Water Authority has also risen up to the situation by offering delivery of essential commodities to households on payment along with free supply of 15 litre drinking water to all households that faced water scarcity.

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